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Radeon HD 4790 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4790 comes with a clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 800 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 640(128x5) SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5850, which features core speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. 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

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 5850 should theoretically be much better than the Radeon HD 4790 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4790 102400 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be quite a bit (about 172%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 4790. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4790 19200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 33000 (172%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 should be much (about 142%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon HD 4790, and should be able to handle higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4790 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 13600 (142%)

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 4790

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 4790 Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year 2009 September 30, 2009
Code Name RV790 Cypress PRO
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Speed 3200 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 102400 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 19200 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 640(128x5) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 32 72
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 959 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 megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4790

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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