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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 860 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1024 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon R9 280X, which features a clock speed of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also makes use of a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It features 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Radeon R9 280X 250 Watts
Difference: 120 Watts (92%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon R9 280X should in theory be quite a bit superior to the Radeon HD 7850 overall. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 288000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 134400 (88%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 280X is much (more or less 98%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

Radeon R9 280X 108800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 53760 (98%)

Pixel Rate

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is superior to the Radeon R9 280X, but not by far. (explain)

Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Radeon R9 280X 27200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 320 (1%)

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 7850

Amazon.com

Radeon R9 280X

Amazon.com

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 7850 Radeon R9 280X
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 October 2013
Code Name Pitcairn Pro Tahiti XTL
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 860 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 130 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 288000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 55040 Mtexels/sec 108800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27520 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1024 2048
Texture Mapping Units 64 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling 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 the video card can possibly write to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's 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 quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

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