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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with a core clock speed of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6950, which comes with a GPU core clock 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 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 12 Watts (6%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be a small bit superior to the Radeon HD 5870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 6400 (4%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be a small bit (more or less 4%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2400 (4%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is the winner, but only just. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1600 (6%)

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 5870

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 5870 Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 December 2010
Code Name Cypress XT Cayman Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 80 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 3.2 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling 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 the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Comments

8 Responses to “Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6950”
mauro says:
muy buena la pagina es exactamente lo que estaba buscando...muy pero muy buena, mas aya de que los resultados no sean exactos, la idea esta...y es exelente, felicitaciones!!
[...] habe dann ist der Unterschied nicht wirklich merkbar. Hier sieht du ganz grob den Unterschied Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6950 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare Zitieren + [...]
[...] to be enjoyed? How big difference is there really between HD5870 and HD6950? Please enlight me.. http://www.hwcompare.com/6132/radeon...adeon-hd-6950/ An answer would be appreciated.... Attached Images [...]
Viking2121 says:
No difference at all, Overclock a tad and it faster than the 6950, only thing thats better is more vram.
larsV12 says:
@mauro .. like Viking says - only, i'd add that the 6950 offers OpenGL 4.1 support. What that means, in rel terms, is it might be slightly better optimized for newer, 3D gaming titles that utilise OpenGL. Other than that? They're very evenly matched cards .. so put it like this: flip a coin - heads for the 5870, tails for the 6950 - to pick one ... i guarantee you won't be disappointed with the outcome ;P
George Kohler says:
The 2GB 6950 is the way to go! You can flash the 6970 firmware and unlock the locked shader cores and if you use the ASUS firmware you can even add a 20% overclock to blow the 5870 out of the water. Crisis 3 with everything maxed out hits 136 FPS with the ASUS 6970 firmware and 20% boost and runs at 89 degrees C well below the 95C design limit since it is after all the same exact reference hardware only hobbled by a greedy company to dole out performance. I love finding out these cheesy ploys and exploiting them.
larsV12 says:
@George K ... the 6950 1GB has the same unlock capability ( ..i should know, the rig i'm typing this on has a 6950-1G @ 1536 SPU's ;P ). The 6950-2G's obviously will rule at high res' over the 1GB versions though. I'm getting high 60's, temperature wise (on ref' cooler), with Crysis & idling @ 30-35. Wanna know how to keep these babies running cool - without after-market cooling (... and short of putting the rig in a freezer)?? ... ask me how ;P
LarsV12 says:
Actually, after testing the 5870 vs 6950, on a modest 5.5% bump on the core (to 900), for the 5870, and a 4% bump on the memory clock (to 1250), the 5870 returns, pixel fill: 28.8GP/s, texture fill: 72GT/s and mem' b/w @ 160GB/s. That's slightly better than parity with the 6950. Also consider that the 5870 is known to be able to clock up to core: 1000 & mem:1300 memory: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3286/gigabyte_radeon_hd_5870_1gb_super_overclock_video_card_overclocked_higher/index11.html --> Add to the fact 5870's have 1600 shader cores vs just 1408 for 6950's, and all the sudden the 6950, by all rights, looks more like a 'side-grade' rather than an upgrade.

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