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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 6950

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a core clock frequency of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 1126 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6950, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1250 MHz on this card. It features 1408 SPUs as well as 88 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6950 should theoretically perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 160000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 15872 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6950 should be quite a bit (more or less 167%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6950 70400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 44000 (167%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be a small bit (about 3%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6950, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6950 25600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 6950

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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 6950
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 December 2010
Code Name R680 Cayman Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 800 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 200 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 160000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 70400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 25600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1408
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 88
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2640 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as 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 potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6950

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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