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Radeon HD 6970 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The Radeon HD 6970 has a GPU clock speed of 880 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1375 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1536 Stream Processors, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with a core clock speed of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon HD 7870 XT 6390 points
Radeon HD 6970 3470 points
Difference: 2920 (84%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Radeon HD 6970 250 Watts
Difference: 65 Watts (35%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 7870 XT will be 9% quicker than the Radeon HD 6970 overall, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6970 176000 MB/sec
Difference: 16000 (9%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should be a small bit (more or less 5%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6970. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 84480 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 4320 (5%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be a small bit (about 5%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6970, and capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6970 28160 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1440 (5%)

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 6970

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

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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 6970 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 November 2012
Code Name Cayman XT Tahiti LE
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 880 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 5500 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 176000 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 84480 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 28160 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1536 1536
Texture Mapping Units 96 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2640 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 can be applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 6970

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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