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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870


The Radeon HD 6970 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1375 MHz on this specific model. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which features a GPU core clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6970 should perform 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 should be just a bit (approximately 6%) more effective at 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

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is a better choice, though only just barely. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core 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 number of pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.


One Response to “Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Jared says:

Which ones better

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