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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7970, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1375 MHz on this particular model. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 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 7870 175 Watts
Radeon HD 7970 250 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (43%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7970 should be 72% faster than the Radeon HD 7870 overall, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 110400 (72%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 is a lot (approximately 48%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 38400 (48%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is superior to the Radeon HD 7970, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (8%)

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 7870

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7970

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 7870 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 January 2012
Code Name Pitcairn XT Tahiti XT
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 1000 MHz 925 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1280 2048
Texture Mapping Units 80 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 250 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 80000 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32000 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Comments

2 Responses to “Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon HD 7970”
andrew says:
people at hardware compare do you mind telling me how the 7970 is better then the 7870 at everything else but the 7870 is better at handling higher resolutions? makes no sense
Richard says:
Has a higher pixel rate

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