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Radeon HD 4870 X2 vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 has core clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with a core clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1440(288x5) SPUs, 72 TAUs, 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 speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 should be much faster than the Radeon HD 5850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 is a small bit (approximately 15%) more effective at texture filtering 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 is a bit (more or less 3%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 5850, and also should be able to handle higher screen 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 largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video 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 most pixels that the graphics chip can possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill 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 maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

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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