Goodness .. that's a long name isn't it? Alright, let's compare the basic reference card against this HIS model.
Reference card - the lower-end yet mid-range Radeon HD 3850 reference model cards will feature a silent single-slot cooler. The cards have an optional 256MB or 512MB onboard GDDR3 memory configuration. The 3850 will be running at a 825 MHz memory frequency (1650 MHZ effective), and will have a core frequency of at least 660 MHz. I say at least as some board-partners will very likely release pre-overclocked models of these cards.
And then there's the HIS Radeon HD 3850 ICEQ3 TurboX. Quite a different product. The PCB differs and the color is now blue. On top of the card we see a huge dual-slot cooling unit. But even so important, we notice that the core and memory clocks run higher than reference. We see a core frequency of 735 MHz and the memory clocked at 1.96 GHz. That's actually slightly slower than a Radeon HD 3870. To cut costs the card is back to GDDR3 memory at a 256-bit memory bus. Expect the 256MB version to sell for roughly 150 USD and the 512 MB version from 199 USD which is amazing value for the money considering you have a fully working RV670 GPU on that card. Have a peek at the following.
Above the BIOS dump, in which we beautifully can see the several power stages (PowerPlay) for power consumption. Once we open up the box we spot that the graphics card is bundled with the HIS regulars. Everything you need to get connected is basically in there. We can see that the full RV670 core is being utlized, all 320 Shader Processors are active. Not a bad deal in this price-range, no Sir.
Bundled with this card thou shall find:
DVI to VGA Dongle x 1
DVI to HDMI Dongle x 1
S-Video to Composite adapter
Crossfire bridge x 1
Half-life 2 discount coupon
Handy multi-purpose magnetic screwdriver has several different tips under its cap, a built in level and LED light. It sounds pretty simple, but really .. that's a cool gadget.
Pretty dandy stuff, and again the new included screwdriver is funny and handy. But let's dive into the product technology again. Next to shrinking that die-size ATI did make another clever move; the move back to the 256-bit memory bus (still using the 512-bit ring-bus). It's much cheaper to work with memory and less expensive to integrate. So combining these factors can make the overall products less expensive. RV670 also makes the move towards PCI-Express 2.0 compatibility which doubles the bus (PCIe) data rate towards 16GB/s. Not that we need it at this time though ... although with CrossfireX it might make a difference.
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