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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 828 MHz on this model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR4 memory runs at a speed of 993 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 110 Watts
Difference: 35 Watts (47%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4850 2GB should perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 2GB 63552 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 10560 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 2GB will be quite a bit (approximately 134%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 2GB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 14312 (134%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB is a small bit (about 7%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, and will be capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 688 (7%)

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 3850 256MB

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 3850 256MB Radeon HD 4850 2GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name RV670 PRO RV770 PRO
Memory 256 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 668 MHz 625 MHz
Memory Speed 1656 MHz 1986 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 110 watts
Bandwidth 52992 MB/sec 63552 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10688 Mtexels/sec 25000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10688 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 data (in units of MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to its 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 - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3850 256MB

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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