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Radeon HD 7970 vs Radeon RX 590

Intro

The Radeon HD 7970 has a core clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1375 MHz. It also makes use of a 384-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon RX 590, which features core clock speeds of 1469 MHz on the GPU, and 2000 MHz on the 8192 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2304 SPUs as well as 144 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon RX 590 175 Watts
Radeon HD 7970 250 Watts
Difference: 75 Watts (43%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7970 should theoretically be a small bit faster than the Radeon RX 590 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Radeon RX 590 262144 MB/sec
Difference: 1856 (1%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon RX 590 should be much (about 79%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7970. (explain)

Radeon RX 590 211536 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 93136 (79%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon RX 590 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon RX 590 47008 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17408 (59%)

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 7970

Amazon.com

Radeon RX 590

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 7970 Radeon RX 590
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year January 2012 November 2018
Code Name Tahiti XT Polaris 30
Memory 3072 MB 8192 MB
Core Speed 925 MHz 1469 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 8000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 264000 MB/sec 262144 MB/sec
Texel Rate 118400 Mtexels/sec 211536 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 29600 Mpixels/sec 47008 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 2048 2304
Texture Mapping Units 128 144
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 12 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 4.2 OpenGL 4.5

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

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

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 7970

Amazon.com

Radeon RX 590

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.

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