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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 comes with a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications 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 along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 25 Watts (14%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6950 should be a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 6400 (4%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be a little bit (more or less 14%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6950. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 9600 (14%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be much (more or less 25%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 6950, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6400 (25%)

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

Radeon HD 6950

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

Model Radeon HD 6950 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 March 2012
Code Name Cayman Pro Pitcairn XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1408 1280
Texture Mapping Units 88 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) 200 watts 175 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 160000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 70400 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25600 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

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

Comments

5 Responses to “Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Anonymous says:
the 7870 sapphire OC edition is better
MXM says:
but who are the best 6950 or 7870 ?! for gaming ?!?!?!
Marcel says:
The 6950 are 100x better !!!
Anonymous says:
Useless compare :/
saad says:
the hd 7870 is little bit better then hd 6950 and capable of handling games on full hd 1920x1080 screen resolution and much better than hd 6950

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