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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1375 MHz on this 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 3GB, which comes with core speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1792 SPUs along with 112 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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

The Radeon HD 7950 3GB should theoretically be a lot faster 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 will be a small bit (approximately 6%) more effective at AF 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 will be just a bit (about 10%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, and also capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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

Radeon HD 6970

Radeon HD 7950 3GB

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
Memory 2048 MB 3072 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 maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 most pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 6970

Radeon HD 7950 3GB

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