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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB comes with a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5850, which has GPU core speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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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, in theory, should be a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be quite a bit (more or less 74%) more effective at anisotropic 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 will be a lot (about 93%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and also should be able to handle higher resolutions while still performing well. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum 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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