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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

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

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which has a clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1120 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

The Radeon HD 5870, in theory, should perform just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be a lot (about 35%) more effective at 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 is a bit (more or less 6%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5870, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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

Radeon HD 5870

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 5870 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2010
Code Name Cypress XT Barts XT
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective)
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
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 151 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

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

Comments

5 Responses to “Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6870”
[...] 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. [...]
[...] 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 [...]
[...] 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': http://www.techspot.com/review/325-amd-radeon-6870/page8.html

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