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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5970 features clock speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1600 SPUs along with 160 Texture Address Units and 64 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 6870, which has core 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 Rasterization Operator 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

In theory, the Radeon HD 5970 will be 90% faster than the Radeon HD 6870 overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be quite a bit (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

The Radeon HD 5970 should be quite a bit (more or less 222%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 6870, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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 data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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 - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum 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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