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Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 5870 features a core clock frequency of 850 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1200 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and uses a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600(320x5) SPUs, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6850, which has GPU core speed of 775 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 61 Watts (48%)

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5870 should in theory be a bit better than the Radeon HD 6850 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be much (more or less 83%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 6850. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 30800 (83%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 will be a bit (approximately 10%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 6850, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 2400 (10%)

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 5870

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.

Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5870 Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 23, 2009 October 2010
Code Name Cypress XT Barts Pro
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 850 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 4800 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 188 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 153600 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 68000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 27200 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1600(320x5) 960
Texture Mapping Units 80 48
Render Output Units 32 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 largest amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus 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 4 instead. The higher 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 are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core 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 one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to its local memory per 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 clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to 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 memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 5870

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.

Comments

One Response to “Radeon HD 5870 vs Radeon HD 6850”
ATI Radeon vs Nvidia GT! Which is the best for 10.8.1 ML? says:

[...] for 10.8.1 ML? I've got the v1 Asus EAH5870, works Out of Box. A bit powerful than EAH6850. See there.  OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 : Mac Pro 3.1, DSDT. Asus Maximus V Gene, i7 3770, Asus HD [...]

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