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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7970, which features core clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(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 is 72% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 is quite a bit (about 48%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a small bit (approximately 8%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7970, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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

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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

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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 4800 MHz 5500 MHz
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 max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at 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 that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Comments

3 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

Prized says:

The reason the 7870 only has the advantage of handling higher resolutions easier than the 7970 is probably due to the fact that the video decoder inside the 7970 has been downgraded slightly. I try to run dual monitors and I end up with an increase of 10 degrees on my video card as well as the decoder potentially giving up and starting to display a horribly, HORRIBLY distorted signal.

Whoever thought downgrading the decoder for more performance was a good idea was obviously not quite thinking...however, I still appreciate how powerful this video card is even by today's standards.

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