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Radeon HD 4870 1GB vs Radeon HD 6790

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 1GB comes with a core clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6790, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 840 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1050 MHz on this particular card. It features 800 SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Both cards have the same power consumption.

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6790 should be a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6790 134400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 19200 (17%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6790 will be just a bit (approximately 12%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6790 33600 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 3600 (12%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6790 is the winner, but not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 6790 13440 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1440 (12%)

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 4870 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6790

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 4870 1GB Radeon HD 6790
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 April 2011
Code Name RV770 XT Barts LE
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 840 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 33600 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 13440 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 800
Texture Mapping Units 40 40
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated 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 texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. 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, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6790

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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