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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

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

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6950, which comes with a clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1408 SPUs, 88 TAUs, 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 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 73 Watts (57%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6950 should in theory be a lot better than the Radeon HD 6850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is much (more or less 89%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 33200 (89%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be just a bit (approximately 3%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6850, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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 6950

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 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year October 2010 December 2010
Code Name Barts Pro Cayman Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 960 1408
Texture Mapping Units 48 88
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 200 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37200 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24800 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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