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Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 5870


Intro

The Radeon HD 5850 makes use of a 40 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 725 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a speed of 1000 MHz on this model. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs as well as 72 Texture Address Units and 32 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 5870, which comes with GPU core speed of 850 MHz, and 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory running at 1200 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also is comprised of 1600(320x5) Stream Processors, 80 Texture Address Units, and 32 ROPs.

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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, the Radeon HD 5870 should perform just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 5850 overall. (explain)

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

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5870 should be much (approximately 30%) better 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 lots of anti-aliasing is important to you, then the Radeon HD 5870 is the winner, but only just. (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

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Radeon HD 5850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

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 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: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of information (in units of megabytes per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in a second. It is calculated by multiplying the card's interface width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR type RAM, the result 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 anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

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

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

Display Prices

Hide Prices

Radeon HD 5850

Amazon.com

Radeon HD 5870

Amazon.com

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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