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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 has a GPU clock speed of 880 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7950, which comes with a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1792 SPUs, 112 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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 should be 36% faster than the Radeon HD 6970 in general, 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 should be a bit (more or less 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

The Radeon HD 6970 will be just a bit (more or less 10%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 7950, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface 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 better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling 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 that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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