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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 features a GPU clock speed of 880 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which has clock speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 Texture Address Units 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 XT 6390 points
Radeon HD 6970 3470 points
Difference: 2920 (84%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 65 Watts (35%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should theoretically be a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 6970 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 16000 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be just a bit (about 5%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6970. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (5%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 XT is the winner, not by a very large margin though. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1440 (5%)

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 6970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 6970 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 November 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Tahiti LE
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1536 1536
Texture Mapping Units 96 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2640 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of colour 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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.

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