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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 features a clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which has core speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 58 Watts (45%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so theoretically they should have the same performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 will be a lot (approximately 24%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12960 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 320 (1%)

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 5870

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7850

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 5870 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 March 2012
Code Name Cypress XT Pitcairn Pro
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 860 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 80 64
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2800 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 max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once 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 high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video 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 that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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