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Radeon HD 7850 vs Radeon R9 290


The Radeon HD 7850 has a GPU core speed of 860 MHz, and the 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1024 Stream Processors, 64 TAUs, and 32 ROPs.

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

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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

In theory, the Radeon R9 290 should be 108% quicker than the Radeon HD 7850 in general, because of its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon R9 290 is much (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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon R9 290 is superior to the Radeon HD 7850, by far. (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

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Radeon HD 7850

Radeon R9 290

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.


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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better 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 processed per second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount 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 texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units 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 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 maximum fill rate.


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