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Radeon HD 5830 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5830 comes with core speeds of 800 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1120(224x5) SPUs as well as 56 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 6850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this specific card. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 TAUs and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Display Graphs

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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 exactly the same memory bandwidth, so theoretically they should perform exactly the same. (explain)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5830 is just a bit (approximately 20%) better 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

If running with lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is the winner, and very much so. (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

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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

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Model Radeon HD 5830 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year February 25, 2010 October 2010
Code Name Cypress LE Barts Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 800 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 175 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 44800 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12800 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
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
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface in one second. It is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card can possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

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