Compare any two graphics cards:
Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7970
IntroThe Radeon HD 5850 features core speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7970, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this model. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7970 is 106% faster than the Radeon HD 5850 in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 7970 will be a lot (more or less 127%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon HD 7970 will be quite a bit (about 28%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 5850, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)
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.
Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 7970
Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 the graphics card could possibly write 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 filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.
Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 7970