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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 features a core clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 960 SPUs, 48 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6950, which comes with GPU core speed of 800 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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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

The Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be quite a bit faster than 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 should be much (approximately 89%) faster with regards to 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 is a little bit (more or less 3%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6850, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the graphics 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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