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Radeon HD 4790 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4790 features a core clock frequency of 600 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 800 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 640(128x5) SPUs, 32 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 7870, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 1000 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this model. It features 1280 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 7870 should in theory be quite a bit better than the Radeon HD 4790 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4790 102400 MB/sec
Difference: 51200 (50%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be quite a bit (more or less 317%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4790. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 80000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4790 19200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 60800 (317%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 is quite a bit (about 233%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4790, and will be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 32000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4790 9600 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 22400 (233%)

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 4790

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 4790 Radeon HD 7870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year 2009 March 2012
Code Name RV790 Pitcairn XT
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 600 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory Speed 3200 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 175 watts
Bandwidth 102400 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 19200 Mtexels/sec 80000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 9600 Mpixels/sec 32000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 640(128x5) 1280
Texture Mapping Units 32 80
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 28 nm
Transistors 959 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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR 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 higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 fill rate is also dependant 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.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4790

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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