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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB vs Radeon HD 6870

Intro

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB has a core clock frequency of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 993 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 6870, which has a clock speed of 900 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1050 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is made up of 1120 SPUs, 56 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6870 151 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 250 Watts
Difference: 99 Watts (66%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6870 should theoretically perform a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 134400 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 127104 MB/sec
Difference: 7296 (6%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 is a small bit (more or less 1%) more effective at AF than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 50400 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 400 (1%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 6870 should be quite a bit (more or less 44%) faster with regards to AA than the Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB, and should be able to handle higher resolutions without slowing down too much. (explain)

Radeon HD 6870 28800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB 20000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 8800 (44%)

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.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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 X2 512MB Radeon HD 6870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 7, 2008 October 2010
Code Name R700 Barts XT
Memory 512 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 625 MHz (x2) 900 MHz
Memory Speed 1986 MHz (x2) 4200 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 250 watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 127104 MB/sec 134400 MB/sec
Texel Rate 50000 Mtexels/sec 50400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 20000 Mpixels/sec 28800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) (x2) 1120
Texture Mapping Units 40 (x2) 56
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge) 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 (counted in MB per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The better 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 in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum number of pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on lots of other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6870

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

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.

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