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Radeon HD 6870 vs Radeon HD 7790

Intro

The Radeon HD 6870 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1050 MHz on this card. It features 1120 SPUs as well as 56 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7790, which features GPU clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1500 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is made up of 896 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7790 85 Watts
Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Difference: 66 Watts (78%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6870 should in theory be much better than the Radeon HD 7790 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7790 96000 MB/sec
Difference: 38400 (40%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7790 will be just a bit (approximately 11%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6870. (explain)

Radeon HD 7790 56000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 5600 (11%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is the winner, by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7790 16000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12800 (80%)

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 6870

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7790

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 6870 Radeon HD 7790
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year October 2010 March 2013
Code Name Barts XT Bonaire XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 900 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective) 1500 MHz (6000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1120 896
Texture Mapping Units 56 56
Render Output Units 32 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 128-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.3
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 85 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 134400 MB/sec 96000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 50400 Mtexels/sec 56000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28800 Mpixels/sec 16000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units 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 in a second.

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

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