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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 5870


Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 uses a 40 nm design. AMD has clocked the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1000 MHz on this card. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

Compare that to the Radeon HD 5870, which has GPU core speed of 850 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 RAM set to run at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is made up of 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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 is 20% faster than the Radeon HD 5850 in general, due to its higher data rate. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 will be much (about 30%) better at anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 5850. (explain)

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

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 is a bit (approximately 17%) more effective at AA than the Radeon HD 5850, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions better. (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 largest amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. The number is calculated by multiplying the card's bus width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum texture map elements (texels) that can be 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 better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels applied in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the graphics card could possibly record to the local memory in a second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is calculated by multiplying the number of ROPs by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for filling the screen with pixels (the image). The actual pixel fill rate is also dependant on lots of other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the max fill rate.

Radeon HD 5850

Radeon HD 5870

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