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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 has core speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1408 SPUs as well as 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7970, which has core clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Radeon HD 7970 250 Watts
Difference: 50 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7970, in theory, should perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6950 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Difference: 104000 (65%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be a lot (approximately 68%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6950. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 48000 (68%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7970 is superior to the Radeon HD 6950, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (16%)

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

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Radeon HD 6950

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

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Model Radeon HD 6950 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman Pro Tahiti XT
Memory 1024 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 5000 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 200 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 160000 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 70400 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25600 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1408 2048
Texture Mapping Units 88 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2640 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, 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 figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel 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.

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