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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 has a clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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 speaking, the Radeon HD 6950 should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is just a bit (about 14%) more effective 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

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, by a large margin. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach 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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