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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

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

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7950, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1250 MHz on this model. It features 1792 SPUs along with 112 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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 quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6970 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 should be a little bit (about 6%) more effective 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 a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is the winner, 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

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

Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Tahiti Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 1536 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1536 1792
Texture Mapping Units 96 112
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) 250 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If 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 higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. 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 of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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