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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 has a core clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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 in theory they should have identical performance. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be quite a bit (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 high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, though only just barely. (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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon HD 7850

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer ATi ATi
Year September 23, 2009 March 2012
Code Name Cypress XT Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
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
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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