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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 RAM. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7970, which features GPU clock speed of 925 MHz, and 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1375 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7970 should be a lot 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 should be much (about 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 running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7970 is superior to the Radeon HD 6950, though 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

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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 max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If 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 high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video 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 amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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