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Radeon HD 4870 1GB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 1GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM works at a frequency of 900 MHz on this card. It features 800(160x5) SPUs along with 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which has a clock speed of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It features 1600 SPUs, 160 TAUs, and 64 Raster Operation Units.

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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 should be much (about 673%) more effective at texture 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

The Radeon HD 5970 is quite a bit (more or less 673%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, and should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions while still performing well. (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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The better the card's memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, HDR and high resolutions.

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

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the clock speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on many other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the ability to reach the max fill rate.

Display Prices

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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.

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