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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 features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 640(128x5) SPUs, 32 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7870 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the Radeon HD 4790 in general. (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 (more or less 317%) more effective 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 lots of anti-aliasing 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 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

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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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 maximum number of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential 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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