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Radeon HD 4870 512MB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 512MB comes with clock speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 512 MB of GDDR5 RAM. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specifications to the Radeon HD 5970, which comes with GPU core speed of 725 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, 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 quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in general. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 should be much (approximately 673%) more effective 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

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, by a large margin. (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 max amount of data (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. The number is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses 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 number is worked out by multiplying the total 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 a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the video card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of ROPs by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate also depends on many 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.

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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