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Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 4870 X2

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB comes with a core clock speed of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory speed of 993 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which features a clock frequency of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 250 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 100 Watts (40%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 127104 MB/sec
Difference: 103296 (81%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be a bit (more or less 20%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 10000 (20%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be just a bit (more or less 20%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB, and also able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 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 1GB

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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB Radeon HD 4870 X2
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 7, 2008 Aug 12, 2008
Code Name R700 R700
Memory 1024 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 maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher 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 in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

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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