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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with a GPU core speed of 850 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 925 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1500 MHz on this model. It features 1536 SPUs along with 96 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 3 Watts (2%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 XT is 25% quicker than the Radeon HD 5870 in general, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 38400 (25%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT is quite a bit (more or less 31%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5870. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20800 (31%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be a small bit (approximately 9%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5870, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (9%)

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 5870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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 5870 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 November 2012
Code Name Cypress XT Tahiti LE
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 1536
Texture Mapping Units 80 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2154 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. 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 ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

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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