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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 7870


The Radeon HD 5970 has a GPU core speed of 725 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5970 should theoretically be much superior to the Radeon HD 7870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (about 190%) better at AF 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 should be a lot (approximately 190%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 7870, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must 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 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 calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video 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 maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - 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:

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