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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 features a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6870, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1050 MHz on this card. It features 1120 SPUs along with 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 theoretically be a bit superior to 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 will be much (more or less 35%) faster with regards to anisotropic 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 a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is superior to the Radeon HD 6850, but only just. (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 maximum amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at 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 chip can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Comments

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