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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870


The Radeon HD 5970 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1600 SPUs as well as 160 Texture Address Units and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with a clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 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 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 119 Watts (68%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be quite a bit (approximately 190%) better 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

The Radeon HD 5970 is quite a bit (approximately 190%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 7870, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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 data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the 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 most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.


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

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