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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB features a GPU core speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 RAM is set to run at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 320(64x5) Stream Processors, 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with a core clock frequency of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and uses 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

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should in theory perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 5850 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 16128 (13%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 is a lot (more or less 98%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 25800 (98%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3200 (14%)

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 1GB

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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name R680 Cypress PRO
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 725 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 72
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better 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 number of texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video 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 number of Render Output Units by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

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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