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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

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

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7850, which features clock speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1024 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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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, the Radeon HD 7850 should perform 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 is much (approximately 83%) faster with regards to AF 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 (about 129%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and also will be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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

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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

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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
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 860 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 130 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors 956 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per 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 this number, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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