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Radeon HD 6950 2GB vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 2GB comes with core clock speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which comes with 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 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 6950 2GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 3GB 240000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6950 2GB 160000 MB/sec
Difference: 80000 (50%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7950 3GB will be much (approximately 27%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6950 2GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7950 3GB 89600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 2GB 70400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 19200 (27%)

Pixel Rate

Both cards have exactly the same pixel rate, so in theory they should perform equally good at at AA, and be able to handle the same screen resolutions. (explain)

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

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Radeon HD 6950 2GB

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

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Model Radeon HD 6950 2GB Radeon HD 7950 3GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 January 2012
Code Name Cayman Pro Tahiti Pro
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 5000 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 200 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 160000 MB/sec 240000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 70400 Mtexels/sec 89600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25600 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1408 1792
Texture Mapping Units 88 112
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 max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many 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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