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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 has a core clock speed of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 280X, which comes with a core clock speed of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also uses a 384-bit bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon R9 280X will be 88% quicker than the Radeon HD 7850 overall, due to its greater bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 280X should be much (about 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 a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is superior to the Radeon R9 280X, but only just. (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
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB
Core Speed 860 MHz 850 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 6000 MHz
Unified Shaders 1024 2048
Texture Mapping Units 64 128
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 384-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3
Power (Max TDP) 130 watts 250 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 288000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 55040 Mtexels/sec 108800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27520 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 per second. This figure 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few 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.

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