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Radeon HD 5970 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5970 has a core clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 Texture Address Units, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6870, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1050 MHz on this specific model. It features 1120 SPUs along with 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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should perform much 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 will be quite a bit (approximately 360%) more effective 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 lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, by far. (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

Radeon HD 6870

Amazon.com

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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called 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, especially 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 5970

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6870

Amazon.com

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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