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Radeon HD 7870 XT vs Radeon RX 470

Intro

The Radeon HD 7870 XT comes with 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.

Compare all of that to the Radeon RX 470, which comes with a core clock speed of 926 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1650 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 14 nm design. It is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon RX 470 120 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Difference: 65 Watts (54%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon RX 470 will be 10% quicker than the Radeon HD 7870 XT in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon RX 470 211200 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Difference: 19200 (10%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon RX 470 should be a lot (more or less 33%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 7870 XT. (explain)

Radeon RX 470 118528 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 29728 (33%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon RX 470 is the winner, though only just barely. (explain)

Radeon RX 470 29632 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 32 (0%)

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 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Radeon RX 470

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

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Model Radeon HD 7870 XT Radeon RX 470
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year November 2012 August 2016
Code Name Tahiti LE Polaris 10
Memory 2048 MB 8192 MB
Core Speed 925 MHz 926 MHz
Memory Speed 6000 MHz 6600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 185 watts 120 watts
Bandwidth 192000 MB/sec 211200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 88800 Mtexels/sec 118528 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 29600 Mpixels/sec 29632 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1536 2048
Texture Mapping Units 96 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 14 nm
Transistors 4313 million 5700 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 12.0
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.3 OpenGL 4.5

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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