AMD ATI Radeon 3850 & 3870 review

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Page 1 - Introduction

AMD ATI Radeon HD 3000 series review

Hello everyone and welcome to another life-size article here at Guru3D. It should be no secrets any more what's being released today as... well every little detail of info was already leaked onto the web. Especially with board partners like Diamond who apparently can post full product pages with all specifications on their public website, a week or two prior to launch.

Today we will be talking about some pretty exiting graphics cards from the guys that bought ATI last year, yes AMD. Back in May the Radeon HD Series 2000 was released and it's partly being replaced already due to a large mixture of sorrow. AMD had to come up with something new and competitive in the market as the green goblins from NVIDIA consistently answered and anticipated any move that ATI has planned throughout the last year.

Today AMD will launch the Radeon 3000 series products, specifically the Radeon HD 3850 and 3870. I'll give you a quick hint, these cards are roughly as fast a Radeon HD 2900 XT, yet they are priced at a very competitive level; how does a price range of 149 to 219 USD sound ?

See, performance wise a 149 USD Radeon HD 3850 will wipe the floor with the entire GeForce 8500/8600 series easily, and the 3870 will put up a great fight with the 8800 GTS. With new releases often also we can see a couple of new tricks. Today's announced products will see light of in the form of DirectX 10.1 support, the new UVD (video de/encoding) engine is now integrated opposed to the 2900 XT which didn't have it. Full PCI-Express 2.0 support, and a die-size based on 55nm to die for.

Also announced today is CrossfireX, with the new RD790 FX mainboard platform or any other motherboards supporting it you can now hook up-to four graphics cards together. Ooh goodness... can we finally play Crysis at very high settings with an acceptable resolution ? See the gaming business is finally booming again. No less than 254 games are launching this fall, we have 217 million on-line gamers world-wide totaling for an accounted 13 billion dollar industry. Who ever said that PC gaming was dead ?

We have a lot to cover and talk about, but first have a peek at the photo below. Initially we only expected AMD to submit a HD 3870 sample, but then HiS gave us a call .. TUL (PowerColor) started MSN'ing us .. so we had a couple of more cards to cover at launch then expected.

So today in rough lines we'll test:

  • Radeon HD 3850 256 MB GDDR3 (149 USD)
  • Radeon HD 3850 512 MB GDDR3 (199 USD)
  • Radeon HD 3870 512 MB GDDR4 (219 USD)

Good stuff, next page please... and welcome to the silly season.

AMD ATI Radeon HD 3000 series review


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