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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6950, which features core speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1250 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1408 SPUs as well as 88 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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 superior to the Radeon HD 6850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 will be a lot (more or less 89%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6950 is a better choice, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (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

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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

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Model Radeon HD 6850 Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year October 2010 December 2010
Code Name Barts Pro Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 127 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 37200 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24800 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 960 1408
Texture Mapping Units 48 88
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1700 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better 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 applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

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

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