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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB features a core clock speed of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 993 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this card. 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 4850 512MB 110 Watts
Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Difference: 17 Watts (15%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the Radeon HD 6850 should be a lot 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%) more effective at anisotropic filtering 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

If running with a high screen 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 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

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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

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Model Radeon HD 4850 512MB Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 October 2010
Code Name RV770 PRO Barts Pro
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 1986 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 110 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 63552 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 25000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10000 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
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
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: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied per second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total number of 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 per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

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