Originally Posted by motok
Many still refer to them as shaders though.
It doesn't make a huge difference, the more shaders, the easier to process data so for instance if your playing farcry2 and you have all of this open land, more shaders will help but 112-128 is not a big difference and you can see that if you bump up the 260m clocks to match a 280m.
I agree with your comments 100% so far. fading asks questions and I try and give detailed answers, maybe over detailed. But figure more info is better if you wanna learn. I have always seen fading as trying to get as much info as possible.
On your comments about # of shaders (stream processors) only having limited influence vs clocks. Yes on the example you give you are correct. My example ATI 120 vs 320 is a little hard to overcome realistically with clocks alone. More on point of your point the 9800m's. The GT has more 96 the GTS has less 64. The GTS is higher clocked and they are very close in performance.
Seems like the 260's and 280 have similar potential also. But the 280 comes both higher clocked and more SP. So yes you can up the 260 but so also you can up the 280. So I mean when all is said and done unless you can clock the 260 above what you can clock the 280? The 280 wins.
ATI does the same thing the GT/GTS does to achieve greater performance with less SP. The 4850/4870 have 800 SP the 4830/4860 have 640. Using higher clocks the factory tries to have them effectively compete with the greater SP versions respectively. Stock they do. But if you have the option of tweaking on your own the greater SP GPU's likely have more headroom.
I can OC my HD3650 so far above a stock HD3670 it crushes. But if you can OC a HD3670, I don't know. If they come out the same I won as I paid less. Oh and 3650/3670 have the same # of SP's.
fading don't try and compare Nvidia SP's and clocks to ATI or vice versa. Do compare Nvidia to Nvidia and ATI to ATI and clocks can compensate for less SP's. More SP's can compensate for lower clocks. They are relative.