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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 comes with a GPU core speed of 800 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1408 Stream Processors, 88 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7970, which comes with GPU core speed of 925 MHz, and 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1375 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also features 2048 Stream Processors, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7970 should theoretically be much superior to the Radeon HD 6950 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be quite a bit (about 68%) faster with regards to 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 should be a bit (about 16%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 6950, and also capable of handling 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

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

Model Radeon HD 6950 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
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 max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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