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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB comes with a clock speed of 625 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 993 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 1GB 110 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 78 Watts (71%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5870 should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 1GB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 90048 (142%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is a lot (more or less 172%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 1GB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 43000 (172%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 1GB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17200 (172%)

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 4850 1GB

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5870

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 4850 1GB Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 September 23, 2009
Code Name RV770 PRO Cypress XT
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz 850 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 993 MHz (1986 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 40 80
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2
Power (Max TDP) 110 watts 188 watts
Shader Model 4.1 5.0
Bandwidth 63552 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 25000 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10000 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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