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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 features a GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 960 Stream Processors, 48 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this card. 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 speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 is 20% quicker than the Radeon HD 6850 in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (about 115%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be much (approximately 29%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 6850, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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 (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum 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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