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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 uses a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1200 MHz on this card. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 280X, which uses a 28 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a speed of 1500 MHz on this particular card. It features 2048 SPUs along with 128 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator 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

The Radeon R9 280X, in theory, should be quite a bit faster than 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 quite a bit (about 98%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7850 will be a bit (more or less 1%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon R9 280X, and also will be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 most pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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