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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with core speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which features core clock 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 Rasterization Operator Units.

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 exactly the same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be much (approximately 24%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a small bit (about 1%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 5870, and also capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (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 largest amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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