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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 comes with a core clock speed of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1375 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which makes use of a 28 nm design. ATi has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 1792 SPUs as well as 112 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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

In theory, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB should 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 is just a bit (about 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

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is a better choice, but only just. (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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7950 3GB
Manufacturer ATi ATi
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 maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface 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 ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out 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 is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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