Compare any two graphics cards:
Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870
IntroThe Radeon HD 5970 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1600 SPUs along with 160 Texture Address Units and 64 ROPs.
Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has GPU core speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1280 Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.
(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 5970 is much (about 190%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)
Pixel RateIf using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is superior to the Radeon HD 7870, by a large margin. (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.
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.
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.
Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.