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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB comes with a clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6950, which comes with GPU clock speed of 800 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1250 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 94 Watts (89%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6950, in theory, should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (178%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be quite a bit (approximately 468%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 58000 (468%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be a lot (about 106%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 13200 (106%)

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 3870 512MB

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 512MB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 December 2010
Code Name RV670 XT Cayman Pro
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 106 watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 12400 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 16 88
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

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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