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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 has a clock frequency of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1375 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1250 MHz on this specific card. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7950 3GB 200 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 50 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB should theoretically be quite a bit better than the Radeon HD 6970 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 3GB 240000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 64000 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 3GB is a little bit (more or less 6%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6970. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 3GB 89600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5120 (6%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 is a bit (more or less 10%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7950 3GB 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

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7950 3GB

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 3GB
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 3072 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 5000 MHz
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 maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of 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 higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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