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Radeon HD 5830 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5830 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 800 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this model. It features 1120(224x5) SPUs along with 56 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 960 SPUs, 48 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 5830 175 Watts
Difference: 48 Watts (38%)

Memory Bandwidth

Both cards have the exact same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5830 should be just a bit (about 20%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 5830 44800 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7600 (20%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 will be a lot (about 94%) more effective at anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 5830, and also capable of handling higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5830 12800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12000 (94%)

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.

Price Comparison

Radeon HD 5830

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 6850

Amazon.com

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

Model Radeon HD 5830 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year February 25, 2010 October 2010
Code Name Cypress LE Barts Pro
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 775 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective) 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 1120(224x5) 960
Texture Mapping Units 56 48
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 127 watts
Shader Model 5.0 5.0
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 44800 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12800 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. In the case of DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be 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 better this number, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. 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 is also dependant on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

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