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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7970


Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7970, which features core speeds of 925 MHz on the GPU, and 1375 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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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

The Radeon HD 7970 should theoretically perform a lot faster 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 should be a lot (approximately 127%) faster with regards to 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 is much (approximately 28%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 5850, and will be capable of handling higher screen 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

Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 7970

Specifications

Display 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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better 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 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 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 7970

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