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Radeon HD 3870 512MB vs Radeon HD 4550 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB features a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 4550 512MB, which comes with a core clock speed of 600 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 800 MHz. It also uses a 64-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 80(16x5) SPUs, 8 Texture Address Units, and 4 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4550 512MB 25 Watts
Radeon HD 3870 512MB 106 Watts
Difference: 81 Watts (324%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 3870 512MB should be much faster than the Radeon HD 4550 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 57600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 12800 MB/sec
Difference: 44800 (350%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 512MB is much (approximately 158%) more effective at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4550 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 4800 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7600 (158%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 512MB is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 512MB 12400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4550 512MB 2400 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10000 (417%)

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 4550 512MB

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 4550 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Sep 30, 2008
Code Name RV670 XT RV710
Memory 512 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 775 MHz 600 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz 1600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 106 watts 25 watts
Bandwidth 57600 MB/sec 12800 MB/sec
Texel Rate 12400 Mtexels/sec 4800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12400 Mpixels/sec 2400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 80(16x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 8
Render Output Units 16 4
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 64-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 242 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: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must 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 AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4550 512MB

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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