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Radeon HD 6790 vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6870, which has a clock frequency 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 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 exactly the same bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 is quite a bit (approximately 50%) faster with regards to 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 a lot (approximately 114%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6790, and should 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

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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 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, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines 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 rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max 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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