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Radeon HD 6950 2GB vs Radeon HD 7950 3GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 2GB features a core clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7950 3GB, which features a GPU core clock speed of 800 MHz, and 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1250 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also features 1792 SPUs, 112 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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 a lot faster than the Radeon HD 6950 2GB overall. (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 should be quite a bit (approximately 27%) better at AF 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling 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 its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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