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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 features a GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with GPU core speed of 900 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1050 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1120 Stream Processors, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Difference: 24 Watts (19%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6870 should in theory be a small bit superior to the Radeon HD 6850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 6400 (5%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 will be quite a bit (more or less 35%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 13200 (35%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is superior to the Radeon HD 6850, though not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (16%)

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 6850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6870

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 6850 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year October 2010 October 2010
Code Name Barts Pro Barts XT
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective) 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 960 1120
Texture Mapping Units 48 56
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 127 watts 151 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37200 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24800 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (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 bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Comments

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