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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which features a clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 45 Watts (35%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same bandwidth, so in theory they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 should be quite a bit (approximately 45%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 24960 (45%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is a better choice, but only just. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4480 (16%)

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 7850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 7870

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 7850 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 March 2012
Code Name Pitcairn Pro Pitcairn XT
Memory 2048 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 860 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 130 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 55040 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27520 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1024 1280
Texture Mapping Units 64 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, 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 maximum number of pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of ROPs 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 output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Comments

5 Responses to “Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon HD 7870”
Neuen PC/ Laptop - Seite 65 - Das Diablo-3.net Forum - Das beste deutsche Diablo 3 Forum says:

[...] Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon HD 7870 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare __________________ "Alle Menschen haben Recht, ZUMINDEST GLAUBEN SIE DAS!" (Albert Einstein) [...]

Upgrading from AMD 4870 to 7850 GFX says:

[...] Originally Posted by colinquek An update, i go t the ASUS 7850. Good card, and did some perfmon test on my pc, other than FPS increased, nothing else pretty much changed. Which is a good thing. Thanks all the bros for your advice. If you were a lil earlier, many were dumping 6970 for as cheap as 400 bucks. (Non-ref) Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon HD 7870 – Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare [...]

Awais says:

hello, i wanted to ask that would it be wise to get an hd7870 instead of 7850. i work in different 3d creation softwares.

thank you

Gamer PC mit Windows und Zusammenbau 900€ - netzwelt.de Forum says:

[...] okay aber wie gesagt wäre die 7870 besser. Hier einmal ein kleiner Vergleich der 7850 mit der 7870 Vergleich 7850 mit 7870 Das Mainboard ist auch noch okay, allerdings kann man damit zwar kein SLI/Crossfire betreiben, [...]

Suche passende Grafikkarte - netzwelt.de Forum says:

[...] jedoch finde ich das die ca. 40-50€ für die 7870 es mehr als wert sind. Gruß Junatic PS: Vergleich 7850 mit 7870 2048MB Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2048MB XFX Radeon HD 7850 Core Edition mit Doppellüfter 1024MB XFX [...]

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