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 set the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1600 SPUs as well as 160 TAUs and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.
Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870, which features a core clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.
Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks
Power Consumption (Max TDP)
The Radeon HD 5970 should theoretically be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)
Texel RateThe Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (more or less 190%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)
Pixel RateThe Radeon HD 5970 should be quite a bit (about 190%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 7870, and able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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 maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.
Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum 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 clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.
Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.