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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5970 has a clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with a GPU core clock speed of 900 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1050 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1120 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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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 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is quite a bit (approximately 360%) better at texture 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 maximum amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to 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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