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Radeon HD 4870 2GB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB comes with a core clock frequency of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5850, which has a clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 2GB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Difference: 1 Watts (1%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5850 will be 11% quicker than the Radeon HD 4870 2GB in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be much (approximately 74%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 2GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22200 (74%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be a lot (approximately 93%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 4870 2GB, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 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 2GB

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 2GB Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name RV770 XT Cypress PRO
Memory 2048 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 maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4870 2GB

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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