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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 frequency of 1375 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which features clock speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 Texture Address Units 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

The Radeon HD 7950 3GB should theoretically be much 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 just a bit (approximately 6%) better 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

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is a better choice, though not by far. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it should 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 anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core 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 fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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