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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 840 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1050 MHz on this particular model. It features 800 SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7950, which comes with GPU core speed of 800 MHz, and 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1250 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also features 1792 SPUs, 112 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6790 150 Watts
Radeon HD 7950 200 Watts
Difference: 50 Watts (33%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7950 should in theory be a lot superior to the Radeon HD 6790 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 240000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6790 134400 MB/sec
Difference: 105600 (79%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 is a lot (approximately 167%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6790. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 89600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6790 33600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 56000 (167%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7950 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6790 13440 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12160 (90%)

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 6790

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7950

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 6790 Radeon HD 7950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year April 2011 January 2012
Code Name Barts LE Tahiti Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1536 MB
Core Speed 840 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800 1792
Texture Mapping Units 40 112
Render Output Units 16 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) 150 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 134400 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 13440 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant 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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