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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB features clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, which features a GPU core clock speed of 625 MHz, and 2048 MB of GDDR4 RAM set to run at 993 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

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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 overall, due to 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 is quite a bit (approximately 102%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is superior to the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, by a large margin. (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

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.

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 max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result should 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum 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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