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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 makes use of a 40 nm design. ATi has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7970, which comes with clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7970 is 65% quicker than the Radeon HD 6950 in general, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 should be much (more or less 68%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6950. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 is just a bit (about 16%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 6950, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon HD 7970

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 6950 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer ATi ATi
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman Pro Tahiti XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 925 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective) 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1408 2048
Texture Mapping Units 88 128
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) 200 watts 250 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 160000 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 70400 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25600 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. 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 is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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