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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 features a core clock speed of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon R9 280X, which has clock speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

(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

The Radeon R9 280X should theoretically perform much 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 should be quite a bit (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

The Radeon HD 7850 should be a small bit (more or less 1%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon R9 280X, and will be capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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

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

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 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1500 MHz (6000 MHz effective)
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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, 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 AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units 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 in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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