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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 has a clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7970, which makes use of a 28 nm design. ATi has clocked the core speed at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this model. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(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 should be much 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 is quite a bit (more or less 68%) faster with regards to anisotropic 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7970 is superior to the Radeon HD 6950, but not by far. (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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

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

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