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Radeon HD 4870 1GB vs Radeon HD 5970

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 1GB features a core clock frequency of 750 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 900 MHz. It also features a 256-bit bus, and uses a 55 nm design. It features 800(160x5) SPUs, 40 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5970, which features a core clock speed of 725 MHz and a GDDR5 memory speed of 1000 MHz. It also uses a 256-bit bus, and makes use of a 40 nm design. It is comprised of 1600 SPUs, 160 Texture Address Units, 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

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 5970 should theoretically be quite a bit superior to the Radeon HD 4870 1GB overall. (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 a lot (more or less 673%) faster with regards to 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

The Radeon HD 5970 will be much (more or less 673%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, and also capable of handling higher resolutions without losing too much performance. (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 max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred across the external memory interface in one second. It's calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR RAM, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better 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 texture map elements (texels) that are processed per second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core speed of the chip. The higher the texel rate, the better the graphics card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. Pixel rate is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core 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 quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to 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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