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Radeon HD 4870 1GB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 1GB has core speeds of 750 MHz on the GPU, and 900 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core frequency at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a speed of 1000 MHz on this specific model. It features 1600 SPUs along with 160 TAUs and 64 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB 150 Watts
Radeon HD 5970 294 Watts
Difference: 144 Watts (96%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 5970 should theoretically be quite a bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 256000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 140800 (122%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5970 is a lot (about 673%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 232000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 202000 (673%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5970 is the winner, and very much so. (explain)

Radeon HD 5970 92800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 1GB 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 1GB

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 1GB Radeon HD 5970
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 November 2009
Code Name RV770 XT Hemlock XT
Memory 1024 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 largest amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The higher the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly write to its local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is worked out by multiplying the number of colour ROPs by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - also called Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate is also dependant on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

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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