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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB features core speeds of 825 MHz on the GPU, and 1126 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6950, which comes with a clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6950, in theory, should perform a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is a lot (approximately 167%) more effective at anisotropic filtering 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 is a bit (about 3%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (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 megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video 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 that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant 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 max fill rate.

Display Prices

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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.

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