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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 993 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7850, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1024 SPUs along with 64 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 512MB 110 Watts
Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Difference: 20 Watts (18%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7850 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 90048 (142%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a lot (approximately 120%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 30040 (120%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a lot (more or less 175%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and also should be able to handle higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 17520 (175%)

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 4850 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 4850 512MB Radeon HD 7850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 March 2012
Code Name RV770 PRO Pitcairn Pro
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz 860 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 993 MHz (1986 MHz effective) 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1024
Texture Mapping Units 40 64
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 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) 110 watts 130 watts
Shader Model 4.1 5.0
Bandwidth 63552 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 25000 Mtexels/sec 55040 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10000 Mpixels/sec 27520 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. 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 many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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