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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 6790 has a GPU clock speed of 840 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1050 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 800 SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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

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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 in theory they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be a lot (more or less 50%) faster with regards to 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

The Radeon HD 6870 is much (more or less 114%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 6790, and also will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock 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 a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability 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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