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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB has a GPU clock speed of 825 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR4 memory runs at 1126 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should theoretically be a little bit superior to the Radeon HD 5850 in general. (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 much (about 98%) more effective 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 using a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is superior to the Radeon HD 5850, though not by far. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This is worked out by multiplying the total number 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 processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics card can possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max 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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