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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM is set to run at a frequency of 993 MHz on this particular card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with clock speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 960 SPUs along with 48 TAUs 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6850 should theoretically be much better than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 should be quite a bit (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

The Radeon HD 6850 should be much (approximately 148%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and also should 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

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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 largest amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, 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 most pixels the video card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

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