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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. ATi has clocked the core frequency at 625 MHz. The GDDR4 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 993 MHz on this model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with core clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5870 should theoretically be a lot better 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 quite a bit (about 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing 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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

Radeon HD 4850 1GB

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 4850 1GB Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer ATi ATi
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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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