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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 clocked the core frequency at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this specific card. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7950, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1250 MHz on this specific model. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7950 is 36% faster than the Radeon HD 6970 in general, because of its higher data rate. (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 small bit (approximately 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 high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is the winner, though only just barely. (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 past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out 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 card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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