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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB features a GPU core speed of 625 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 993 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with 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 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 512MB 110 Watts
Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Difference: 17 Watts (15%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 6850 should be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 64448 (101%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 will be a lot (about 49%) faster with regards to AF than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 12200 (49%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 should be much (approximately 148%) more effective at full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and will be able to handle higher screen resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 14800 (148%)

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 4850 512MB

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 4850 512MB Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 October 2010
Code Name RV770 PRO Barts Pro
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe x16
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz 775 MHz
Shader Speed N/A MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 993 MHz (1986 MHz effective) 1000 MHz (4000 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 960
Texture Mapping Units 40 48
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1
Power (Max TDP) 110 watts 127 watts
Shader Model 4.1 5.0
Bandwidth 63552 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 25000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10000 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 are processed in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels the video card can possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of colour ROPs 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 rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

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