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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB features a GPU core speed of 750 MHz, and the 512 MB of GDDR5 memory is set to run at 900 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 800(160x5) Stream Processors, 40 TAUs, and 16 Raster Operation Units.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5970, which features GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 1600 Stream Processors, 160 Texture Address Units, and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 144 Watts (96%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5970, in theory, should perform a lot faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 140800 (122%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (more or less 673%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 202000 (673%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 will be quite a bit (about 673%) better at AA than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB, and should be able to handle higher screen resolutions without losing too much performance. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 512MB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 80800 (673%)

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 4870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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 4870 512MB Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 November 2009
Code Name RV770 XT Hemlock XT
Memory 512 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 750 MHz 725 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4000 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 294 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 256000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 232000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 92800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 1600 (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 40 160 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 64 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 2154 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: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported over the external memory interface in a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and higher screen resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed per second. This 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 graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the ability to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 512MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5970

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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