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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 840 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1050 MHz on this particular model. It features 800 SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6870, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 900 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1050 MHz on this model. It features 1120 SPUs as well as 56 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6790 150 Watts
Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Difference: 1 Watts (1%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have exactly the same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 will be much (about 50%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6790. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6790 33600 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 16800 (50%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 is quite a bit (approximately 114%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 6790, and should be capable of handling higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6790 13440 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15360 (114%)

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.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 6790

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 6790 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year April 2011 October 2010
Code Name Barts LE Barts XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 840 MHz 900 MHz
Memory Speed 4200 MHz 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 134400 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 13440 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800 1120
Texture Mapping Units 40 56
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 1700 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 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 MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Comments

3 Responses to “Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870”
$1000 and to include a monitor - PCMech Forums says:

[...] but the build I recomended has a much faster video card. For gaming the video card is paramount. Theoritical benchmark comparison between the 2 video cards based on specs The AMD 955 is still a heck of a [...]

Year of the Hackintosh? | Frank and Fedora's Blog says:

[...] A graphics card that is two product cycles ahead (AMD Radeon 6870 vs the top end Mac option of the 6790); see here for a comparison of raw benchmarks from each card [...]

yoki says:

Dual-6790 or Single-6870??

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