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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 290

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 comes with a GPU core clock speed of 860 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon R9 290, which has a core clock frequency of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also features a 512-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It features 2560 SPUs, 160 Texture Address Units, and 64 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7850 130 Watts
Radeon R9 290 300 Watts
Difference: 170 Watts (131%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon R9 290 should in theory be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7850 overall. (explain)

Radeon R9 290 320000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 7850 153600 MB/sec
Difference: 166400 (108%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 290 is much (about 133%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

Radeon R9 290 128000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 55040 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 72960 (133%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon R9 290 is superior to the Radeon HD 7850, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon R9 290 51200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 7850 27520 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 23680 (86%)

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

Radeon R9 290

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 7850 Radeon R9 290
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year March 2012 November 2013
Code Name Pitcairn Pro Hawaii PRO
Memory 2048 MB 4096 MB
Core Speed 860 MHz 800 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 5000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 130 watts 300 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 320000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 55040 Mtexels/sec 128000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27520 Mpixels/sec 51200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1024 2560
Texture Mapping Units 64 160
Render Output Units 32 64
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 512-bit
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 2800 million 6200 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 over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 7850

Radeon R9 290

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