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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 290

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 features a clock speed of 860 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1200 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1024 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon R9 290, which makes use of a 28 nm design. ATi has clocked the core frequency at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a speed of 1250 MHz on this particular model. It features 2560 SPUs along with 160 Texture Address Units and 64 Rasterization Operator Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

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

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon R9 290 should be 108% faster than the Radeon HD 7850 in general, due to its higher bandwidth. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 290 will be quite a bit (about 133%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 7850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon R9 290 should be a lot (more or less 86%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 7850, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (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

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords, and might not be the exact same card listed on this page. We have no control over the accuracy of their search results.

Radeon HD 7850

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Radeon R9 290

Amazon.com

Other US-based stores

Specifications

Model Radeon HD 7850 Radeon R9 290
Manufacturer ATi ATi
Year March 2012 November 2013
Code Name Pitcairn Pro Hawaii PRO
Fab Process 28 nm 28 nm
Bus PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory 2048 MB 4096 MB
Core Speed 860 MHz 800 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1200 MHz (4800 MHz effective) 1250 MHz (5000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1024 2560
Texture Mapping Units 64 160
Render Output Units 32 64
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 512-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11.1 DirectX 11.2
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.2 OpenGL 4.3
Power (Max TDP) 130 watts 300 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 320000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 55040 Mtexels/sec 128000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27520 Mpixels/sec 51200 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one 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 texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Render Output Units 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 quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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