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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory is set to run at a frequency of 900 MHz on this specific card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which has core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. 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 512MB 150 Watts
Difference: 23 Watts (18%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically, the Radeon HD 6850 should be a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 should be a lot (more or less 24%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7200 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12800 (107%)

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 4870 512MB

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 4870 512MB Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 October 2010
Code Name RV770 XT Barts Pro
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 960
Texture Mapping Units 40 48
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 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 data (measured in MB per second) that can be transferred over 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 memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of Render Output Units by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output 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 ability to get to the max fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

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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