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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 has a core clock frequency of 840 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 800 SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6870, which features a core clock frequency of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1050 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It features 1120 SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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 the exact same bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 is a lot (about 50%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 6790. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses 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 are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach 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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