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Radeon HD 3870 1GB vs Radeon HD 6970

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 1GB has core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1125 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6970, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 880 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1375 MHz on this specific model. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 96 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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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 in theory perform much faster than the Radeon HD 3870 1GB overall. (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 quite a bit (about 581%) better at 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 running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6970 is superior to the Radeon HD 3870 1GB, and very much so. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster 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 are applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum 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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