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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB features clock speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which features GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(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

The Radeon HD 5870, in theory, should perform quite a bit 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 should be quite a bit (approximately 172%) better at 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

The Radeon HD 5870 should be a lot (more or less 172%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, 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 can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 video card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines 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 output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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