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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs as well as 72 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6950, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 1408 SPUs as well as 88 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 49 Watts (32%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be a lot superior to the Radeon HD 5850 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 is a lot (about 35%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 18200 (35%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6950 is the winner, but only just. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (10%)

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

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Radeon HD 5850

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 5850 Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 December 2010
Code Name Cypress PRO Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1440(288x5) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 72 88
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory 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 better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, 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 calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the 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 - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5850

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.

Comments

One Response to “Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 6950”
tomas says:

Interesting article, thanks a lot!

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