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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 comes with a core clock frequency of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1375 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7970, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this particular card. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7970 should be 50% quicker than the Radeon HD 6970 in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 88000 (50%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be much (about 40%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6970. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 33920 (40%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7970 is superior to the Radeon HD 6970, but not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1440 (5%)

Please note that the above 'benchmarks' are all just theoretical - the results were calculated based on the card's specifications, and real-world performance may (and probably will) vary at least a bit.

Price Comparison

Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7970

Amazon.com

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Tahiti XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 925 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective) 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1536 2048
Texture Mapping Units 96 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 250 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Comments

4 Responses to “Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7970”
timmeh says:
lol guys, get a 6970, its a lot cheaper
Some Dude says:
Do want! But still, then I have to invest in a new Mobo, and then it would be about double the price of a 6990

6990 > 7970

vlcrpt[0]r says:
2x 6970 > 6990 > 7970

But they are so loud :S

LunaticGTX says:
get 7970 and replace the cooler with arctic cooler 7970
cheaper than plus 2 or extreme

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