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Radeon HD 4870 X2 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 comes with a GPU core speed of 750 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with GPU core speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 199 Watts (132%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should perform much faster than the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (80%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be just a bit (about 15%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7800 (15%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be just a bit (approximately 3%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5850, and also should be capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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 4870 X2 Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Aug 12, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name R700 Cypress PRO
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz (x2) 725 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 350 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 230400 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 60000 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24000 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) (x2) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 40 (x2) 72
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge) PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 applied in a second.

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

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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