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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 290

Intro

The Radeon HD 7850 features clock speeds of 860 MHz on the GPU, and 1200 MHz on the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1024 SPUs as well as 64 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon R9 290, which comes with a core clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1250 MHz. It also features a 512-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 28 nm design. It is made up of 2560 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

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Benchmarks

These are real-world performance benchmarks that were submitted by Hardware Compare users. The scores seen here are the average of all benchmarks submitted for each respective test and hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Score

Radeon R9 290 9795 points
Radeon HD 7850 5200 points
Difference: 4595 (88%)

Zcash Mining Hash Rate

Radeon R9 290 283 Sol/s
Radeon HD 7850 171 Sol/s
Difference: 112 (65%)

Ethereum Mining Hash Rate

Radeon R9 290 29 Mh/s
Radeon HD 7850 13 Mh/s
Difference: 16 (123%)

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, in theory, should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 7850 in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 290 is a lot (approximately 133%) more effective 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon R9 290 is a better choice, 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

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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 maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 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 anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the 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 number of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 7850

Radeon R9 290

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