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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB has core speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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

(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 be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a lot (more or less 83%) faster with regards to 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 (approximately 129%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the 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 that the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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