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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 993 MHz on this particular model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which features clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 100 Watts (40%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should perform quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
Difference: 103296 (81%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be a bit (more or less 20%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10000 (20%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is a better choice, though only just barely. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (20%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4870 X2

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 4850 X2 512MB Radeon HD 4870 X2
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 7, 2008 Aug 12, 2008
Code Name R700 R700
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 625 MHz (x2) 750 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1986 MHz (x2) 3600 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 350 watts
Bandwidth 127104 MB/sec 230400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 50000 Mtexels/sec 60000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 20000 Mpixels/sec 24000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) (x2) 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 40 (x2) 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 956 million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge) PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
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 megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This number is calculated 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 graphics 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 the graphics card 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 ROPs 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 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

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 X2

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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