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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 features a clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which has a clock frequency of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Difference: 21 Watts (16%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7850 should in theory be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a small bit (more or less 5%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 2840 (5%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is a better choice, though not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4320 (19%)

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 5850

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

Model Radeon HD 5850 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 March 2012
Code Name Cypress PRO Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1440(288x5) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 72 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) 151 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Comments

3 Responses to “Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7850”
[...] better performer as well as a better overclocker (if you overclock ofcourse). Check out this link- Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7850 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare Please note that it is completely theoretical and the real world performance may differ. Also [...]
Terrence says:
Hey Im looking at possibly upgrading my video card in couple of months.
I currently have radeon hd 5850 and was wondering whats the main difference when cards say core speed and memory speed?
I see cheaper cards on the market have the same core speed but are DDR2 instead of 3.
larsV12 says:
@Terrence .. core (clock) speed like any of the other measures of performance in gfx cards is all relative. You mention lesser cards having "the same core speed" .. and that's actually incorrect across each generation iteration of DDR & GDDR vRAM types. That's to say, a gfx card with 1GB of DDR2 vRAM will essentially perform no better than a card with 512MB's of GDDR3 vRAM. You see, the premise being that each generation of DDR roughly doubles the speed of the generation before. So, put another way, 1 GB of GDDR3 will perform at only half the speed of 1 GB of GDDR5. So, it's like this, DDR2 & DDR3?? Forget it .. they're yesterday's tech' - and a complete waste of time even thinking about (let alone discussing). If you're after a budget upgrade in the RED corner, i'd advise a HD6950 2GB - or better still a 6970, at the very least. If you're looking at the GREEN team, consider at least a GTX 480 or GTX 580. As all of those cards are getting relatively old now (but each still supporting DX 11 & all having GDDR5 vRAM), you should be able to pick up a bargain from either the GREEN or RED Team on any one of those cards i've named ;)

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