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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB features a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7850, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this particular card. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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(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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7850 should be much 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 should be much (more or less 83%) better 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 will be quite a bit (approximately 129%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and should be capable of handling higher resolutions while still performing well. (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

Display Prices

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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

Display Specifications

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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 3600 MHz 4800 MHz
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 megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better 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 maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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