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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7850


Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific model. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7850, which comes with GPU clock speed of 860 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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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 theoretically they should perform the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is a lot (approximately 24%) more effective at 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, but not by far. (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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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.

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