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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 comes with core clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with GPU core speed of 925 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1500 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1536 Stream Processors, 96 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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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, the Radeon HD 7870 XT should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 5870 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT will be much (approximately 31%) more effective at anisotropic 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

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7870 XT is a better choice, but not by far. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number 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 fill rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum 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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