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Radeon HD 3870 1GB vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB has a core clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1125 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6970, which comes with a clock frequency of 880 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1375 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 1GB 106 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 144 Watts (136%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6970 should theoretically be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 72000 MB/sec
Difference: 104000 (144%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6970 should be much (approximately 581%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 72080 (581%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 1GB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15760 (127%)

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 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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 1GB Radeon HD 6970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 December 2010
Code Name RV670 XT Cayman XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 880 MHz
Memory Speed 2250 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 106 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 72000 MB/sec 176000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 12400 Mtexels/sec 84480 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12400 Mpixels/sec 28160 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 1536
Texture Mapping Units 16 96
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR4 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: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6970

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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