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Radeon HD 4790 vs Radeon HD 7870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4790 has core clock speeds of 600 MHz on the GPU, and 800 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 640(128x5) SPUs along with 32 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870, which has a GPU core clock speed of 1000 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1280 SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 should be 50% quicker than the Radeon HD 4790 in general, because of its greater bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 will be much (about 317%) better at 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

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 is the winner, by far. (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 (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is calculated 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach 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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