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GeForce 9600 GT 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The GeForce 9600 GT 1GB features a GPU clock speed of 650 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 64 SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6950, which features a core clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1408 SPUs, 88 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 95 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 105 Watts (111%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically be a lot better than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (178%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 will be a lot (approximately 238%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 20800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 49600 (238%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 will be much (about 146%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce 9600 GT 1GB, and will be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 10400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15200 (146%)

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

GeForce 9600 GT 1GB

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 GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year Feb 2008 December 2010
Code Name G94a/b Cayman Pro
Fab Process 65/55 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 650 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed 1625 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 900 MHz (1800 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 64 1408
Texture Mapping Units 32 88
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 95 watts 200 watts
Shader Model 4.0 5.0
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 20800 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few 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.

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