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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB has a GPU clock speed of 625 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM is set to run at 993 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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

Display Graphs

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(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

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5870 should in theory be a lot superior to 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 (more or less 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

The Radeon HD 5870 will be a lot (more or less 172%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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
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 1986 MHz 4800 MHz
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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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