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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB has core speeds of 668 MHz on the GPU, and 828 MHz on the 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB, which comes with core speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 175 Watts (233%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should theoretically be quite a bit better than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 74112 (140%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB should be much (more or less 368%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 39312 (368%)

Pixel Rate

If using lots of anti-aliasing 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 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9312 (87%)

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 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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 3850 256MB Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name RV670 PRO R700
Memory 256 MB 512 MB (x2)
Core Speed 668 MHz 625 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1656 MHz 1986 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 52992 MB/sec 127104 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10688 Mtexels/sec 50000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10688 Mpixels/sec 20000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

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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