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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 has a GPU core clock speed of 850 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which features clock speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs 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 exactly the same memory bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 will be much (about 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

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, but only just. (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

Radeon HD 5870

Radeon HD 7850

Specifications

Display 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 (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 video card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. 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 lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 5870

Radeon HD 7850

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