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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970


Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 800 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that 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 memory. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon HD 7970 8225 points
Radeon HD 6950 3240 points
Difference: 4985 (154%)

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 perform 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 will be a lot (about 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

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7970 is the winner, but only just. (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

Radeon HD 6950

Radeon HD 7970

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 maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount 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 output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Radeon HD 6950

Radeon HD 7970

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