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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with core speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon HD 7870 6230 points
Radeon HD 6850 2395 points
Difference: 3835 (160%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 48 Watts (38%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 7870 should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be quite a bit (more or less 115%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 42800 (115%)

Pixel Rate

If running with 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 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 7200 (29%)

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 6850

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

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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

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Model Radeon HD 6850 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year October 2010 March 2012
Code Name Barts Pro Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 127 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37200 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24800 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 960 1280
Texture Mapping Units 48 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1700 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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the card's 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 rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 6850

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

Comments

One Response to “Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Sander says:

I'm thinking about changing the 6850 to 7870 for BF4.

Is it worth it?
What about the different PCI-E slots, this 7870 needs 3.0?

Currently I have

AsRock G31 M-S mobo
Q9550 @ 2.83
Radeon HD6850 1GB
4GB RAM DDR2
1366x768 res

It's shocking in some maps in BF4 wether it's on High or Low quality, with AA off ofcourse.

Changing to 2x 4GB Ram is not an option since they are amazingly expensive (DDR2).

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