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Radeon HD 6870 vs Radeon HD 7790

Intro

The Radeon HD 6870 comes with a core clock frequency of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1120 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7790, which comes with GPU core speed of 1000 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1500 MHz through a 128-bit bus. It also is comprised of 896 Stream Processors, 56 TAUs, 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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6870 should perform much faster 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 (more or less 11%) more effective at texture 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If 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 can be applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount 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 rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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