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Radeon HD 5830 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5830 comes with a core clock speed of 800 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1120(224x5) SPUs, 56 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular model. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5830 will be a little bit (more or less 20%) faster with regards to texture filtering 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 a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is a better choice, by far. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transported past the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the graphics 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 maximum number of pixels the video card could possibly record to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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