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GeForce GTX 580 vs Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Intro

The GeForce GTX 580 uses a 40 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 772 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1002 MHz on this card. It features 512 SPUs along with 64 Texture Address Units and 48 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 625 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 993 MHz on this model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 Rasterization Operator 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

Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 580 should in theory be quite a bit better 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 is a lot (more or less 98%) faster with regards to AF 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

The GeForce GTX 580 should be a lot (more or less 271%) better at FSAA than the Radeon HD 4850 512MB, and also capable of handling higher resolutions more effectively. (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 maximum amount of information (measured in megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. If the card has DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the 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 of the card by the core clock speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also sometimes called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on quite a few 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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