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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which has 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 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 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Difference: 20 Watts (15%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7850 is 33% faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall, due to its greater bandwidth. (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 much (more or less 83%) more effective at 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

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, by far. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If 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 are processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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