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

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB comes with a core clock frequency of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 993 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 900 MHz on this model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

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

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB should be 10% quicker than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall, due to its greater data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB will be much (about 67%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB is a better choice, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 20000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 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 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 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 4850 X2 1GB Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 7, 2008 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name R700 RV770 XT
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 512 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 largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4870 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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