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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB vs Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB features a GPU clock speed of 625 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 993 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 4870 1GB, which comes with a clock speed of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 900 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is comprised of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 100 Watts (67%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should be just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 11904 (10%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB will be quite a bit (approximately 67%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20000 (67%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB is a better choice, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8000 (67%)

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 1GB

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 1GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 7, 2008 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name R700 RV770 XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz (x2) 750 MHz
Memory Speed 1986 MHz (x2) 3600 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 150 watts
Bandwidth 127104 MB/sec 115200 MB/sec
Texel Rate 50000 Mtexels/sec 30000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 20000 Mpixels/sec 12000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) (x2) 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 40 (x2) 40
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 956 million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge) PCIe 2.0 x16
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 (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once 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, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, 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 graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. 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 output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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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