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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 has a GPU core clock speed of 840 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1050 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 800 Stream Processors, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with core clock speeds of 900 MHz on the GPU, and 1050 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1120 SPUs along with 56 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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 in theory they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be quite a bit (more or less 50%) better 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 a better choice, 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

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

Model Radeon HD 6790 Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year April 2011 October 2010
Code Name Barts LE Barts XT
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 840 MHz 900 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective) 1050 MHz (4200 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800 1120
Texture Mapping Units 40 56
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 151 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 134400 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 33600 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 13440 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Comments

3 Responses to “Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870”
[...] 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 [...]
[...] 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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