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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 5870


Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 has a GPU clock speed of 725 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM is set to run at 1000 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1440(288x5) Stream Processors, 72 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5870, which uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 850 MHz. The GDDR5 RAM runs at a speed of 1200 MHz on this specific card. It features 1600(320x5) SPUs along with 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Display Graphs

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 5850 151 Watts
Radeon HD 5870 188 Watts
Difference: 37 Watts (25%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 5870 will be 20% quicker than the Radeon HD 5850 in general, because of its higher bandwidth. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 153600 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 25600 (20%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is much (more or less 30%) more effective at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 68000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 15800 (30%)

Pixel Rate

If using a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is the winner, but it probably won't make a huge difference. (explain)

Radeon HD 5870 27200 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 4000 (17%)

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.

Price Comparison

Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 5870

Specifications

Display Specifications

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Model Radeon HD 5850 Radeon HD 5870
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year September 30, 2009 September 23, 2009
Code Name Cypress PRO Cypress XT
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 725 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Speed 4000 MHz 4800 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 151 watts 188 watts
Bandwidth 128000 MB/sec 153600 MB/sec
Texel Rate 52200 Mtexels/sec 68000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 23200 Mpixels/sec 27200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 1440(288x5) 1600(320x5)
Texture Mapping Units 72 80
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 40 nm 40 nm
Transistors 2154 million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.1 x16 PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 11 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.2 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface in one second. The number is calculated by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. If it uses DDR type memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the 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 amount of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units of the card by the core clock 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 applied per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels that the graphics card could possibly record to its local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel output rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 5870

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