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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB vs Radeon HD 5850

Intro

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB features a core clock speed of 825 MHz and a GDDR4 memory frequency of 1126 MHz. It also features a 256-bit memory bus, and makes use of a 55 nm design. It features 320(64x5) SPUs, 16 Texture Address Units, and 16 ROPs.

Compare those specs to the Radeon HD 5850, which comes with core speeds of 725 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 1440(288x5) SPUs along with 72 TAUs and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, in theory, should perform a little bit faster than the Radeon HD 5850 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
Radeon HD 5850 128000 MB/sec
Difference: 16128 (13%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 5850 will be a lot (approximately 98%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 5850 52200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 25800 (98%)

Pixel Rate

If using high levels of AA is important to you, then the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB is superior to the Radeon HD 5850, though only just barely. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 5850 23200 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 3200 (14%)

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 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

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Radeon HD 5850

Amazon.com

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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 3870 X2 1GB Radeon HD 5850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jan 28, 2008 September 30, 2009
Code Name R680 Cypress PRO
Memory 1024 MB (x2) 1024 MB
Core Speed 825 MHz (x2) 725 MHz
Memory Speed 2252 MHz (x2) 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) (Unknown) watts 151 watts
Bandwidth 144128 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 26400 Mtexels/sec 52200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 26400 Mpixels/sec 23200 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 320(64x5) (x2) 1440(288x5)
Texture Mapping Units 16 (x2) 72
Render Output Units 16 (x2) 32
Bus Type GDDR4 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit (x2) 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors (Unknown) million 2154 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16) PCIe 2.1 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 3.2

Memory Bandwidth: Memory bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be transported across the external memory interface in one second. The number is worked out by multiplying the bus width by its memory clock speed. In the case of DDR memory, it must be multiplied by 2 again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. The higher the memory bandwidth, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This figure is calculated by multiplying the total texture units of the card by the core 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 processed per second.

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

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 5850

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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