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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB has core clock speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5870 should be 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 is much (approximately 172%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering 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 quite a bit (approximately 172%) faster with regards to anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB, and also able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (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 largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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