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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this particular model. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7950, which comes with core clock speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 1536 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1792 SPUs along with 112 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7950 200 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 50 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7950 should in theory be a lot better than the Radeon HD 6970 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 240000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 64000 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 is a little bit (more or less 6%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6970. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 89600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5120 (6%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is superior to the Radeon HD 7950, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2560 (10%)

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

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Radeon HD 6970

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

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Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Tahiti Pro
Memory 2048 MB 1536 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1536 1792
Texture Mapping Units 96 112
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 largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core 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 in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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