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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7970


Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 features a core clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7970, which comes with a core clock speed of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1375 MHz. It also features a 384-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Radeon HD 7970 250 Watts
Difference: 99 Watts (66%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7970 should theoretically be a lot better than the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 264000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 136000 (106%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 will be quite a bit (more or less 127%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 118400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 66200 (127%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7970 should be quite a bit (more or less 28%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 5850, and will be able to handle higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7970 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 6400 (28%)

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 5850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7970

Amazon.com

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 5850 Radeon HD 7970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 January 2012
Code Name Cypress PRO Tahiti XT
Memory 1024 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 5500 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 264000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 118400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1440(288x5) 2048
Texture Mapping Units 72 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 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 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 amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7970

Amazon.com

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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