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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5970 features a GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1600 Stream Processors, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6870, which features core clock speeds of 900 MHz on the GPU, and 1050 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1120 SPUs as well as 56 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 143 Watts (95%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5970, in theory, should perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 6870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Difference: 121600 (90%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (approximately 360%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6870. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 181600 (360%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 64000 (222%)

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 5970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

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 5970 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year November 2009 October 2010
Code Name Hemlock XT Barts XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz (x2) 900 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz (x2) 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 294 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 256000 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 232000 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 92800 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600 (x2) 1120
Texture Mapping Units 160 (x2) 56
Render Output Units 64 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen 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 number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

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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