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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM is set to run at a speed of 993 MHz on this particular model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5870, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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 be much faster than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB overall. (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 (about 172%) more effective at texture 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

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is a better choice, and very much so. (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

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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

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Model Radeon HD 4850 1GB Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 September 23, 2009
Code Name RV770 PRO Cypress XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 1986 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 110 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 63552 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 25000 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10000 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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