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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5970, which features 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 made up of 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 106 Watts (56%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5970 should perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 5870 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (67%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (more or less 241%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 164000 (241%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution 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 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 65600 (241%)

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 5870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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 5870 Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 November 2009
Code Name Cypress XT Hemlock XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 850 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 80 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 32 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out 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 fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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