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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 makes use of a 28 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 860 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1200 MHz on this particular model. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs 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 comprised of 2048 SPUs, 128 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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

In theory, the Radeon R9 280X is 88% faster than the Radeon HD 7850 overall, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 280X will be much (approximately 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 7850 is the winner, 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 max amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the better 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics 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 could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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