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Radeon HD 4870 1GB vs Radeon HD 5850

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 uses a 256-bit memory 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 those specifications to the Radeon HD 5850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

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

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5850 should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be much (about 74%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22200 (74%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 is a lot (more or less 93%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name RV770 XT Cypress PRO
Memory 1024 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 max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it should 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card 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 one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many 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

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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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