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Radeon HD 7870 vs Radeon HD 7970

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 features a GPU core speed of 1000 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1280 Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7970, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1375 MHz on this specific model. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7970 should in theory be a lot better than the Radeon HD 7870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be much (more or less 48%) better at texture filtering 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 will be a small bit (more or less 8%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 7970, and also 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
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 1000 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 80000 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 32000 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1280 2048
Texture Mapping Units 80 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach 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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