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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 has a GPU core clock speed of 880 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1536 Stream Processors, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation 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 uses a 28 nm design. It features 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (43%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6970 should in theory be a little bit better than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 22400 (15%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be a little bit (approximately 6%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7870. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4480 (6%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is a bit (about 14%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6970, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3840 (14%)

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.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 March 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Pitcairn XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 4800 MHz
Unified Shaders 1536 1280
Texture Mapping Units 96 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 175 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better 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 are processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total 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 processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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