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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 has a clock speed of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1375 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which features a clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1792 SPUs, 112 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

(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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB should be 36% faster than the Radeon HD 6970 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 3GB should be a small bit (more or less 6%) better at anisotropic 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 should be just a bit (more or less 10%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, and also will be able to handle 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

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

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 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 max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 are processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core 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 applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core 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 also depends 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 max fill rate.

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