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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB features a core clock frequency of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has clock speeds of 1000 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 7870 175 Watts
Difference: 25 Watts (17%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 is 33% faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 38400 (33%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be much (approximately 167%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 50000 (167%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 20000 (167%)

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 4870 512MB

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 4870 512MB Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 March 2012
Code Name RV770 XT Pitcairn XT
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 40 80
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors 956 million 2800 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, 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 of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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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