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Radeon HD 6850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 6850 comes with a GPU clock speed of 775 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 960 Stream Processors, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6950, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 1408 SPUs along with 88 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6950 should be much 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 will be much (more or less 89%) faster with regards to texture 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 will be a bit (approximately 3%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6850, and able to handle higher screen 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

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 largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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