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Radeon HD 4870 2GB vs Radeon HD 6850

Intro

The Radeon HD 4870 2GB makes use of a 55 nm design. AMD has clocked the core frequency at 750 MHz. The GDDR5 memory works at a frequency of 900 MHz on this model. It features 800(160x5) SPUs as well as 40 Texture Address Units and 16 Rasterization Operator Units.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 6850, which has core speeds of 775 MHz on the GPU, and 1000 MHz on the 1024 MB of GDDR5 memory. It features 960 SPUs as well as 48 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 6850 127 Watts
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 150 Watts
Difference: 23 Watts (18%)

Memory Bandwidth

The Radeon HD 6850 should in theory perform a small bit faster than the Radeon HD 4870 2GB overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 128000 MB/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 115200 MB/sec
Difference: 12800 (11%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 6850 is a lot (more or less 24%) better at texture filtering than the Radeon HD 4870 2GB. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 37200 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 30000 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 7200 (24%)

Pixel Rate

If running with a high screen resolution is important to you, then the Radeon HD 6850 is superior to the Radeon HD 4870 2GB, by a large margin. (explain)

Radeon HD 6850 24800 Mpixels/sec
Radeon HD 4870 2GB 12000 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 12800 (107%)

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 4870 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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 4870 2GB Radeon HD 6850
Manufacturer AMD AMD
Year Jun 25, 2008 October 2010
Code Name RV770 XT Barts Pro
Memory 2048 MB 1024 MB
Core Speed 750 MHz 775 MHz
Memory Speed 3600 MHz 4000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 150 watts 127 watts
Bandwidth 115200 MB/sec 128000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 30000 Mtexels/sec 37200 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 12000 Mpixels/sec 24800 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 800(160x5) 960
Texture Mapping Units 40 48
Render Output Units 16 32
Bus Type GDDR5 GDDR5
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 55 nm 40 nm
Transistors 956 million 1700 million
Bus PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10.1 DirectX 11
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.0 OpenGL 4.1

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of data (measured in MB per second) that can be moved over the external memory interface in one second. It's worked out by multiplying the card's bus width by its memory clock speed. If the card has DDR memory, it should be multiplied by 2 once again. If it uses DDR5, multiply by ANOTHER 2x. 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 texture map elements (texels) that can be applied in one second. This number 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 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 most pixels that the graphics chip could possibly write to its local memory per second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core speed of the card. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka 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 - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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Radeon HD 4870 2GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 6850

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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