Let's face it, 2007 was one of the darkest pages in the book that has been written by AMD. Slowly but surely you can see them get back into pace, which is just great as .. well we really need that competition in the market for good dynamic optimal evolutionary products designs and for you the consumer more relevant .. the market mechanism of prices & product development rate. That dark page aside, the one good success that AMD's subdivision ATI had was releasing the RV670 graphics processor a couple of months ago. The graphics cards based on that "GPU" (graphics processing unit) who we now all know and love under the names Radeon HD 3850 & 3870. See, performance wise a reference 149 USD Radeon HD 3850 will easily wipe the floor with any card from the entire GeForce 8500/8600 series, that's what makes the RV670 GPUs so special. To date NVIDIA fails to deliver good price/performance cards at that 150 EUR price segment. As we speak NVIDIA is still preparing a card to match this series (9600 GT) but until released or available in high volume the Radeon 3850 & 3870 will offer a stack load of performance, compatibility and features at a terrific price.
AMD is moving onwards and introducing a couple of new cards. Two in the budget segment, one in the high-end segment. We'll quickly sift through the two budget cards first after which we'll take the new high-end product for a test ride and give it our admiration with a full review.
The two lower segment products being announced today are the sub 150 USD ATI Radeon HD 3450 and Radeon HD 3650. These two product obviously are going to replace the HD 2400 & HD 2600 line-up.
The Radeon HD 3650 is a 79-99 USD full DX 10 class, full HD ready graphics adapter based on a 128-bit memory controller. Expect core frequencies of 725 MHz and up-to 800 MHz gDDR3 clock frequencies for the memory. This card is going to replace the HD 2600 Pro/XT series and is intended as competition against the GeForce 8600 GT. While I am not going deep into these two mainstream cards at this point, I will say that in the near future we'll make sure to review them for you.
When we slow down the card a notch more we spot the Radeon HD 3450. A budget card yet still with some pretty decent features in the form of DX10, PCI-Express 2.0, Full HD (1080p) HD decoding and Dolby Digital & DTS audio through HDMI. In fact this is the stuff for desktop usage, power consumption and .. Home Theater PCs. Armed with a price point below 50 USD this might be quite an interesting card. The card will make use of a 64-bit memory interface with the memory clocked up-to 950 MHz. Core frequency is between 800 & 600 MHz depending on the cooling (active/passive).
Obviously in the near future we'll take a look at both these mainstream cards. Yet what you are here for today is that new mammal called the Radeon HD 3870 X2. Pretty cool stuff, as this is a multi-GPU solution on one PCB (one board). Yep, two graphics processors on one board, bridged, making it a "single" card, a card that because it's bridged will work on any mainboard with a fast enough PCIe slot .. and yes that's including NVIDIA's nForce series. Twice the performance of RV670 (Radeon HD 3870), twice the memory (2x512MB) boasting the HD 3870 X2 product in the high-end segment, aimed at you guys at an okay price ..
On the next pages we'll look into the GPU, the X2, the technology, noise levels, power consumption, performance .. well everything you need to know to be honest. Without further ado, let me introduce you the Radeon HD 3870 X2 as delivered to our doorsteps by board-partner HIS technology, meaning we'll have a full retail product review for you already. Next page please ...
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