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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870


The Radeon HD 5970 comes with a GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1600 SPUs, 160 Texture Address Units, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 119 Watts (68%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5970 should be 67% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (67%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (about 190%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 152000 (190%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is superior to the Radeon HD 7870, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 60800 (190%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 5970

Radeon HD 7870

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.


Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5970 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year November 2009 March 2012
Code Name Hemlock XT Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz (x2) 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 294 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 256000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 232000 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 92800 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600 (x2) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 160 (x2) 80
Render Output Units 64 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2800 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 largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called 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 potential to reach the max fill rate.


One Response to “Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Gigabyte 7870 OC 2gb vs. 5970 2Gb says:

[...] Gigabyte 7870 OC 2gb vs. 5970 2Gb Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare danach soll die 5970 besser sein, also ist die 7870 besser? Zitieren [...]

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