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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 features a GPU core speed of 880 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1536 Stream Processors, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7950, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 800 MHz, and 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1250 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1792 SPUs, 112 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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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

In theory, the Radeon HD 7950 should be 36% quicker than the Radeon HD 6970 overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 will be a small bit (about 6%) better at anisotropic 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 using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is superior to the Radeon HD 7950, not by a very large margin though. (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 (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 most pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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