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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 840 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1050 MHz on this specific model. It features 800 SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6870, which comes with a clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1050 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1120 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, 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 memory 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 running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6870 is superior to the Radeon HD 6790, 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 information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock 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 fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory 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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