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Radeon HD 4850 1GB vs Radeon HD 5870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 1GB comes with core 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 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 5870 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 is much (about 172%) better 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 is quite a bit (more or less 172%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 4850 1GB, and should be capable of handling higher 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

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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 data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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