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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

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

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6850, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 775 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this particular card. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

(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

The Radeon HD 6850, in theory, should be a lot faster 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 a lot (approximately 49%) faster with regards to 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 is much (approximately 148%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and capable of handling higher resolutions better. (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: Memory bandwidth is the largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster 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 can be processed in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel output rate also depends on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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