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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 has a GPU core speed of 772 MHz, and the 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1002 MHz through a 384-bit bus. It also is made up of 512 SPUs, 64 Texture Address Units, and 48 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, which makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM works at a speed of 993 MHz on this particular model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

(No game benchmarks for this combination yet.)

Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4850 512MB 110 Watts
GeForce GTX 580 244 Watts
Difference: 134 Watts (122%)

Memory Bandwidth

In theory, the GeForce GTX 580 is 203% faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB in general, due to its higher data rate. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 192384 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 63552 MB/sec
Difference: 128832 (203%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTX 580 will be quite a bit (about 98%) faster with regards to texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 49408 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 25000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 24408 (98%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 is the winner, by a large margin. (explain)

GeForce GTX 580 37056 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4850 512MB 10000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 27056 (271%)

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

GeForce GTX 580

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 4850 512MB

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 GeForce GTX 580 Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year November 2010 Jun 25, 2008
Code Name GF110 RV770 PRO
Fab Process 40 nm 55 nm
Bus PCIe x16 PCIe 2.0 x16
Memory 1536 MB 512 MB
Core Speed 772 MHz 625 MHz
Shader Speed 1544 MHz (N/A) MHz
Memory Speed 1002 MHz (4008 MHz effective) 993 MHz (1986 MHz effective)
Unified Shaders 512 800(160x5)
Texture Mapping Units 64 40
Render Output Units 48 16
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR3
Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 4.1 OpenGL 3.0
Power (Max TDP) 244 watts 110 watts
Shader Model 5.0 4.1
Bandwidth 192384 MB/sec 63552 MB/sec
Texel Rate 49408 Mtexels/sec 25000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 37056 Mpixels/sec 10000 Mpixels/sec

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be transferred past the external memory interface within a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied 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 higher this number, the better the video card will be at 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 that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). 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 reach the maximum fill rate.

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