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Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB vs Radeon HD 4850 2GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB features core clock speeds of 825 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It features 320(64x5) SPUs as well as 16 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR4 memory works at a speed of 993 MHz on this particular card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should theoretically perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4850 2GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 51648 (81%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB should be a little bit (more or less 6%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 4850 2GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 1400 (6%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB will be quite a bit (about 164%) better at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 2GB, and also should be able to handle higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 2GB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 16400 (164%)

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 3870 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4850 2GB

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 3870 X2 512MB Radeon HD 4850 2GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name R680 RV770 PRO
Memory 512 MB (x2) 2048 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 625 MHz
Memory Speed 1800 MHz (x2) 1986 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 110 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 63552 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 25000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 10000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 40
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 16
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.0 x16
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 MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly record 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 - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 2GB

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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