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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870


The Radeon HD 5870 comes with a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that 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 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 37 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5870 should in theory be a little bit better than the Radeon HD 6870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Difference: 19200 (14%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is quite a bit (about 35%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 6870. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 17600 (35%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be a bit (more or less 6%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 5870, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1600 (6%)

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 5870

Radeon HD 6870

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.


Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2010
Code Name Cypress XT Barts XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 900 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1120
Texture Mapping Units 80 56
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.


5 Responses to “Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870”
Was ist kaputt => muss getauscht werden? - Seite 2 - Forum de Luxx says:

[...] [...]

ATI HD 5870 or HD 6870? - Tech Support Forums - says:

[...] Here is a theoretical comparison, that has always seemed pretty close to real world performance. Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare If you can wait till this evening, we do have some real experts, and you won't be disappointed. [...]

[1saleaday] ATI Radeon HD 5870 by rootb33r - TribalWar Forums says:

[...] Posted by Lemon hahahaha that's a 5870 loser Idiot, see this: Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870 ***8211; Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare 5870 is better than 6870, I think it may be better than all but the 6900 series [...]

Upgrading from 9800gt, would appreciate any/all advice - Hardware Canucks says:

[...] more efficient in terms of power consumption compared to a 5870 (unless I've overlooked something) Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare Definitely will be aiming for a used card, hopefully some fellow Canucks will sell their cards to [...]

larsV12 says:

Real world shows the 6870 will deliver better performance over its sibling at high res':

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