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Radeon HD 4850 512MB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 512MB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a frequency of 993 MHz on this specific model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6850, which features a core clock speed of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 6850 should theoretically be a lot superior to 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 will be quite a bit (about 49%) better at texture 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 using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is superior to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, 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

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 largest amount of data (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory speed. If it uses DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied per second. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core 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 number of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate also depends on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

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