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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 7850

Intro

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

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7850, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular model. It features 1024 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

The Radeon HD 7850 should in theory be much faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 should be quite a bit (about 120%) more effective 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 screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is a better choice, by a large margin. (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 largest amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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