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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7770

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with a GPU clock speed of 850 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7770, which comes with a core clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1125 MHz. It also makes use of a 128-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 640 SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7770 80 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 108 Watts (135%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 5870 will be 113% faster than the Radeon HD 7770 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7770 72000 MB/sec
Difference: 81600 (113%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 will be a lot (approximately 70%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7770. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7770 40000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 28000 (70%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7770 16000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 11200 (70%)

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 5870

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7770

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

Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon HD 7770
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 February 2012
Code Name Cypress XT Cape Verde XT
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 1000 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1125 MHz (4500 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 640
Texture Mapping Units 80 40
Render Output Units 32 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 128-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 80 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 72000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 40000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 16000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. 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 is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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