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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 memory works at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this particular model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6950, which features a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 6950 should be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 15872 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 will be a lot (more or less 167%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 44000 (167%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be a little bit (approximately 3%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 December 2010
Code Name R680 Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 88
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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