Nikon D850 has a 46.0MP Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm ) sized BSI-CMOS sensor and features Expeed 5 processor. On the other hand, Nikon D500 has a 21.0MP APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Expeed 5 processor.
Nikon D850's sensor provides 25MP more than Nikon D500's sensor, which gives a significant advantage in real life. You can print your images larger or crop more freely.
On the other hand, please keep in mind that Max sensor resolution is not the only determinant of resolving power. Factors such as the optical elements, low pass filter, pixel size and sensor technology also affects the final resolution of the captured image.
Another similarity between these two cameras is that both Nikon D500 and Nikon D850 sensors lack anti-alias (Low-Pass) filters. Removing anti-alias filter increases the sharpness and level of detail but at the same time, it increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes.
Below you can see the D850 and D500 sensor size comparison.
As seen above, Nikon D850 has a 2.3x Larger sensor area than Nikon D500. Larger sensors give photographer more control on the depth of field and blurry background compared to smaller sensor when shot in same focal length and aperture.
DxOMark Sensor Scores
Both Nikon D850 and Nikon D500 sensors have been tested by DxoMark. DxoMark scores camera sensors for color depth (DXO Portrait), dynamic range (DXO Landscape) and low-light sensitivity (DXO Sports), and also gives them an overall score. Of the two cameras that we are comparing, D850 has scored 100, 16 points higher than D500.