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Radeon HD 3850 256MB vs Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

Intro

The Radeon HD 3850 256MB uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 668 MHz. The GDDR3 memory is set to run at a frequency of 828 MHz on this particular model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

Compare all that to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB, which features core clock speeds of 625 MHz on the GPU, and 993 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 3850 256MB 75 Watts
Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 250 Watts
Difference: 175 Watts (233%)

Memory Bandwidth

Performance-wise, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB should theoretically be a lot better than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 127104 MB/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 52992 MB/sec
Difference: 74112 (140%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB is a lot (approximately 368%) better at AF than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 50000 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 39312 (368%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB is much (more or less 87%) faster with regards to FSAA than the Radeon HD 3850 256MB, and also will be able to handle higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 20000 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 3850 256MB 10688 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 9312 (87%)

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 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

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 3850 256MB Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Nov 19, 2007 Nov 7, 2008
Code Name RV670 PRO R700
Memory 256 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 668 MHz 625 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 1656 MHz 1986 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 75 watts 250 watts
Bandwidth 52992 MB/sec 127104 MB/sec
Texel Rate 10688 Mtexels/sec 50000 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 10688 Mpixels/sec 20000 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) 800(160x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 16 40 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR3
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 55 nm 55 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 956 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/AGP 8x PCIe 2.0 x16 (PCIe bridge)
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the largest amount of information (counted in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface within a second. It is worked out by multiplying the card's interface width by the speed of its memory. In the case of DDR type memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once 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 anti-aliasing, 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 calculated by multiplying the total 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 handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels per second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the most pixels the video card can possibly write 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 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 output rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, most notably the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3850 256MB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB

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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