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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870


The Radeon HD 6970 features a core clock speed of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1375 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

The Radeon HD 6970 should in theory be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

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

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

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, not by a very large margin though. (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

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 6970 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 March 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Pitcairn XT
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1536 1280
Texture Mapping Units 96 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2640 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 largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip 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 core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.


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