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Radeon HD 4790 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4790 comes with a GPU core speed of 600 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 800 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 640(128x5) Stream Processors, 32 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with core clock speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5850 should perform much faster 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 (more or less 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 is quite a bit (approximately 142%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4790, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure 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 filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum 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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