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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 memory is set to run at a speed of 1126 MHz on this particular card. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6950 2GB, which has a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1408 SPUs, 88 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6950 2GB should perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 2GB 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 15872 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 2GB will be much (approximately 167%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 2GB 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 44000 (167%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB will be a bit (more or less 3%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950 2GB, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 2GB 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

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Radeon HD 6950 2GB

Amazon.com

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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 2GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 December 2010
Code Name R680 Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 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 maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably 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

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950 2GB

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 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950 2GB”
joshua C says:

The 3870x2 1 gig is an amazing card. Any game I have thrown at it has been crushed. Playing deadspace 2 and farcry 3 and it runs mint. The only reason to upgrade is to use direct x 11. You should wait to get an 7000 series if you are upgrading

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