A HIS product is always enjoyable to test. I do admit though that over the past year their software bundle got more sober. The Valve coupon hardly shows any real value and other than that you only receive the driver CD. This is a bit of a trend among manufacturers though. But that's the only negative though ... really. Because other than that there are only positives to report. The card just looks stunning, feels stunning and performs stunningly (in perspective for the money you pay for it).
Now surely as the results clearly show it's not a GeForce 8800 GT killer (not even close) which in the end thus is the better card, but considering it's availability and artificially inflated price-level I dare to state that the 3850 offers tremendous value for money. Especially this HIS edition once again is doing very nice things. The design, cooling and close to Radeon HD 3870 performance make it bring a smile to my face. When you go for a card like this then please do opt the 512MB version. In the higher resolutions and DX10 games with massive textures the extra 512MB can make a difference for sure. In fact for DX10 gaming I recommend 512MB or higher graphics adapters these days, but granted current generation graphics cards for both NVIDIA and AMD-ATI hardly can cope with DX10 anyway. Your gaming experience will be great up-to 1600x1200 and with a good selection of image quality settings as your armor.
So in closing for the HIS Radeon HD 3850 ICEQ3 TurboX in general; the card offers fantastic gaming performance and features for the money, but let's not forget; we have the new UVD engine on-board and what about that massively improved power consumption. We have a standard decent overclock, and you can get several of them working together in CrossfireX mode. So you tell me ... what is there not to like about the Radeon 3850 in this price-range, seriously?
HIS pioneered the special edition cards with custom cooling, and you know what I still adore them for doing so.
We really do like the dual-slot ICEQ3 cooled version of this card over the reference product, as GPU heat is dumped outside your PC and is not warming up the innards of your PC. That does kick butt for sure. Again; this is very a neat performance and features set at a very reasonable price. We like to thank HiS for providing this product sample. It was once again a pleasure. Editor's choice for features versus pricing, no doubt.
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