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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 features core speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1408 SPUs as well as 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which features a clock frequency of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, 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 speaking, the Radeon HD 6950 should be 4% faster than the Radeon HD 7870 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be a bit (about 14%) faster with regards to texture 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 is much (more or less 25%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and also able to handle higher resolutions better. (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 max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory 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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