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Radeon HD 6950 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The Radeon HD 6950 comes with a clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1408 SPUs, 88 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1500 MHz on this specific card. It features 1536 SPUs as well as 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 6950 3240 points
Difference: 3150 (97%)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Radeon HD 6950 200 Watts
Difference: 15 Watts (8%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7870 XT should in theory be a bit better than the Radeon HD 6950 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Difference: 32000 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should be quite a bit (approximately 26%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6950. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 18400 (26%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be a small bit (about 16%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (16%)

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 6950

Amazon.com

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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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 6950 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year December 2010 November 2012
Code Name Cayman Pro Tahiti LE
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 5000 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 200 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 160000 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 70400 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 25600 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1408 1536
Texture Mapping Units 88 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory per 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 drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few 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.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 6950

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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