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Radeon HD 4870 X2 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a speed of 900 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6850, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 X2 350 Watts
Difference: 223 Watts (176%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be 80% quicker than the Radeon HD 6850 overall, because of its greater data rate. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 230400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 102400 (80%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 will be much (about 61%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 4870 X2 60000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 22800 (61%)

Pixel Rate

If running with high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 X2 24000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 800 (3%)

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 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

Amazon.com

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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 4870 X2 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Aug 12, 2008 October 2010
Code Name R700 Barts Pro
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz (x2) 775 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 350 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 230400 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 60000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 24000 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) (x2) 960
Texture Mapping Units 40 (x2) 48
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge) PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one 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 graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines 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 rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4870 X2

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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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