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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 900 MHz on this particular model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with GPU core speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1440(288x5) Stream Processors, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Difference: 1 Watts (1%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5850 should theoretically perform a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 is quite a bit (more or less 74%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22200 (74%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be quite a bit (approximately 93%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11200 (93%)

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 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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 512MB Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name RV770 XT Cypress PRO
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 40 72
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 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 largest amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, 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 are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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