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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a core clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 1126 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7850, which comes with GPU clock speed of 860 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7850 should perform just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Difference: 9472 (7%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is much (more or less 108%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 28640 (108%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be a little bit (more or less 4%) more effective at FSAA than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 1120 (4%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 March 2012
Code Name R680 Pitcairn Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 860 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 64
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 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, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7850

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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