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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 has core clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6950, which has GPU clock speed of 800 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1408 Stream Processors, 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

The Radeon HD 6950, in theory, should perform quite a bit faster 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 should be 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 is a bit (approximately 3%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon HD 6850, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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 transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is calculated 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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