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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1250 MHz on this particular card. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7970, which comes with a GPU core clock 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 SPUs, 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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7970 should perform quite a bit 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 texture filtering 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 just a bit (approximately 16%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 6950, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (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 transferred across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. 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 rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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