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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7850


The Radeon HD 5850 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this specific card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which features a clock speed of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7850 is 20% quicker than the Radeon HD 5850 in general, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is just a bit (approximately 5%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA 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

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Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 7850

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.


Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5850 Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 March 2012
Code Name Cypress PRO Pitcairn Pro
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 860 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
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
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 data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs 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 rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.


3 Responses to “Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7850”
GPU Upgrade - Need Suggestions! says:

[...] 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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