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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 makes use of a 40 nm design. nVidia has clocked the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a speed of 1002 MHz on this model. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, which has a clock frequency of 625 MHz and a GDDR3 memory frequency of 993 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It is made up of 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 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
GeForce GTX 580 244 Watts
Difference: 134 Watts (122%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the GeForce GTX 580 should be a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB overall. (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%) more effective at anisotropic 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 high levels of AA is important to you, then the GeForce GTX 580 is superior to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and very much so. (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: Memory bandwidth is the max amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be moved across the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR RAM, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the card's memory bandwidth, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that are processed in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total number of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher this number, the better the card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly record to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the the core speed of the card. 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 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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