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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs as well as 72 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870, which comes with a core clock speed of 1000 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is comprised of 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 24 Watts (16%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7870 should in theory be a bit better than the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be quite a bit (about 53%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 27800 (53%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is quite a bit (more or less 38%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 5850, and capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8800 (38%)

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 5850

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 5850 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 March 2012
Code Name Cypress PRO Pitcairn XT
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1440(288x5) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 72 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly write to the 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 card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as 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 potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5850

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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