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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 280X

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 has a GPU core speed of 860 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon R9 280X, which comes with core speeds of 850 MHz on the GPU, and 1500 MHz on the 3072 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 2048 SPUs as well as 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

The Radeon R9 280X should in theory 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 much (about 98%) faster with regards to 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 is a bit (about 1%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon R9 280X, and should be able to handle higher 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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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