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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB has a clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, which has a core clock speed of 625 MHz and a GDDR4 memory speed of 993 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 110 Watts
Difference: 4 Watts (4%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4850 2GB will be 10% quicker than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB in general, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 2GB 63552 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Difference: 5952 (10%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 2GB should be a lot (about 102%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 2GB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12600 (102%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (24%)

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 3870 512MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 3870 512MB Radeon HD 4850 2GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name RV670 XT RV770 PRO
Memory 512 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 625 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1986 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 106 watts 110 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 63552 MB/sec
Texel Rate 12400 Mtexels/sec 25000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12400 Mpixels/sec 10000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 40
Render Output Units 16 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe 2.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card could 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 the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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