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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 features a clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 960 SPUs, 48 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 900 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1050 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1120 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6870 should theoretically be a little bit better than the Radeon HD 6850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be quite a bit (approximately 35%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 is a little bit (about 16%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 6850, and will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock 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 is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Comments

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