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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 features a clock frequency 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 comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1250 MHz on this particular card. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB should theoretically be a lot 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 will be just a bit (more or less 6%) faster with regards to 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 is a bit (approximately 10%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, and also able to handle higher resolutions better. (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

Display 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 information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Radeon HD 6970

Radeon HD 7950 3GB

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