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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB has core speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 7850, which features a clock speed of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(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

In theory, the Radeon HD 7850 should be 142% faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 is quite a bit (more or less 120%) better at 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

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is superior to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and very much so. (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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated 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 lots of other factors, most notably 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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