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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB comes with a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which has core speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. 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 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Difference: 20 Watts (15%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 7850 should in theory perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 38400 (33%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be much (more or less 83%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 25040 (83%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is quite a bit (more or less 129%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 15520 (129%)

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 4870 512MB

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 4870 512MB Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 March 2012
Code Name RV770 XT Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 900 MHz (3600 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 40 64
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 4.1 5.0
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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