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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 frequency at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at a speed of 993 MHz on this specific card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 6850, which comes with a clock frequency of 775 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 960 SPUs, 48 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

Display Graphs

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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

The Radeon HD 6850 should theoretically perform much 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 will be much (about 49%) more effective 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 running with high levels of AA 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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better this number, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the max fill rate.

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