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ATI Radeon HD 3870/3850 @ PC Perspective
DailyTech's roundup of hardware reviews from around the web for Thursday

ATI Radeon HD 3870/3850
@ PC Perspective
@ AnandTech
@ Hot Hardware
@ TweakTown
@ Hardware Canucks
@ Legion Hardware
@ Elite Bastards
@ Technic3D
@ Legit Reviews
@ The Tech Report
@ Chile Hardware

Abit IP35 Pro @ Trusted Reviews

Galaxy 8600GE Overclocking @ Madshrimps
MSI NX-8600GTS-T2D256E-HD-OC @ CDR Info
Gigabyte GV-NX86S256H @ CDR Info
AMD ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo PCIe x1 @ 3dGameMan

SilverStone TJ10 Case @

Thermaltake Bigwater 760i @ CDR Info
SilverStone TJ09 @ Overclockers Online

Vantec EZ Swap EX and NexStar SX Hard Drive Enclosures @ Laptop Logic
OCZ ATV Turbo Flash 4GB Drive @ Virtual-Hideout
Seagate Barracuda 2TB RAID 0 @ Auphanonline
Pioneer BDC-S02BK DVD Recorder @ CDR Info

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Inconsistant reviews Anand/Legion?
By B166ER on 11/15/2007 2:21:23 AM , Rating: 3
Ok, most things being equal (roughly same sys specs, Anand has X6800 C2D w/ Vista 32 bit, Legion has E6850 w/ Vista 64 bit, both are 4 gig memory deals.) How is it Anands benchies are quite higher than Legion's? Anand has the potentially slower sys, though the OS is a bit more refined for gaming, being 32 bit, whereas legion has better sys specs. But, for example, Anand has some 49 fps in Crysis @ 1600x1200, Legion can barely squeeze 27 frames @1680x1050?? Lower res, but half the fps (w/ the 8800 GT)?? Huh?? Anand doesn't give details about aa/af specs, but Legions is running 0 aa/af, so if Anand cant possibly be running better??!! Anyone got some insight here? Could that be SLI numbers for Anand?
The Radeon review was equally strange, in Crysis, Anand hit rouighly 36 fps @1600x1200, while Legion hit 20 @1680x1050?? What gives, why such disparage in Legions review??

RE: Inconsistant reviews Anand/Legion?
By Pryde on 11/15/2007 3:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
I would imagine that anandtech are using DX9 benchies while legion are using DX10

RE: Inconsistant reviews Anand/Legion?
By B166ER on 11/15/2007 4:56:42 AM , Rating: 2
Under Vista 32? I don't have the Crysis demo but is there a way to run it under Vista under Dx9 only? Doesn't seem realistic, why run Crysis under Vista but not use Dx10? And beyond that, get roughly twice the frame rates? Just seems, well, challengeable. I could be declaring shenanigans here!

RE: Inconsistant reviews Anand/Legion?
By InsidiousAngel on 11/15/2007 8:15:23 AM , Rating: 3
You can specify which shader to run. Just because Vista has DX10 doesn’t mean everything you play has to run in DX10. You typically are given a choice. I run Hellgate: London in DX9 on my Vista64 install, simply because I have had issues running the DX10 flavor.

By Mitch101 on 11/15/2007 9:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that if they go to vista with DX10 they are stuck in full DX10 mode.

In some benchies Vista running DX10 with certain items disabled is faster than XP running DX9. Of course not everything but still very good.

Think about when Quake first came out and supported ungodly resolutions and everyone looked at each other and said who could ever play at that resolution. DX10 is kind of the same way while its a stretch for hardware today to reach its full potential but in 18 months we will be glad Microsoft did it.

Crysis image quality
By DingieM on 11/15/2007 4:39:47 AM , Rating: 2
Is it really true that preliminary tests showed much better image qualty with Crysis on the Radeons?

RE: Crysis image quality
RE: Crysis image quality
By therealnickdanger on 11/15/2007 9:04:15 AM , Rating: 2

That was some delicious fanboy bait at first, but I'm glad IAX clarified.

RE: Crysis image quality
By DingieM on 11/15/2007 9:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
From the linked site:
I don't know what nVidia do to 169.04 but we can see the MAX FPS drops from 30 to 20FPS and the max frame is same as ATi 3870.

I assume nVidia bickered with its drivers again to get that highest possible MAX. FPS? Man nVidia is so dull. They pull this shit also with HQV tests.

Anyhow, the state of drivers for any "hyper"-modern device is flaky at best.

I did some benchmark and feature checking of the HD3870 on the internet, my conclusion is that it has a huge potential: for overclocking and speed (with new drivers), power consumption and heat dissipation (with non-stock coolers which aren't expensive anyways). So within a couple of months I think I get a HD3870. nVidia isn't any better on the whole package, only better on some games regarding FPS but I'm not seeking the best FPS card.

RE: Crysis image quality
By B166ER on 11/16/2007 12:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, the potential for the 3870/50 is high in my book, it has the horsepower but if it can only match performance with the 8800GT, then I can only hope image quality price or supplemental features can make or break a purchasing decision.

By budapest on 11/15/2007 12:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
Upon reading the Anandtech review, it sounds like great news for Quake Wars and WiC players.

By Mitch101 on 11/15/2007 10:05:26 AM , Rating: 3
Im dissapointed to see a lot of review sites ignoring the 1680x1050 resolution especially since 22" widescreen monitors can be found for $150.00 after rebate or around $200.00 straight out.

By xti on 11/15/2007 11:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
That is actually a great point if the reviews are indeed lacking this resolution. Lots of places always talk about real world situations and isn't that what this would exactly be?

By darkpaw on 11/15/2007 1:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with you. My two old 22" CRTs are finally giving up the ghost and I'd likely be replacing them with 22" widescreens.

Even as an old CRT diehard, I have to admit they are going away. Presenting most results in the traditional resolutions is doing a bit of a disservice at this time.

I thought 1680x1050 needed its own thread
By PAPutzback on 11/15/2007 2:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought a Samsung 22 Widescreen the other day and I am amazed at how hard it is to find benchmarks for one of the more popular resolutions. Come on Anandtech. Shirley you have a 22 inch widescreen monitor there.

RE: I thought 1680x1050 needed its own thread
By PAPutzback on 11/15/2007 2:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
And according to Steam surveys...

Steam Hardware Survey Results
Steam has updated its hardware survey board and the results are rather interesting. According to the reported data, the majority of Steam users have 2,048.0 Kbps or higher network speed, run single core processors, Intel being the current favorite with processor speeds over 2.6GHz being the most popular. NVIDIA is by far the favorite video card and 22” monitors and above seems to be the preference with the steam crowd. Interesting stuff, go have a look for yourself. Thanks to [H] reader Edward Cabarles for the linkage.

By EnzoFX on 11/15/2007 6:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
1680x1050 is slightly less pixels than 1600x1200
whenever i wanna get an idea of what a game would run on my monitor, i refer to said res. its a more than adequate estimate. Lastly, i'd assume there are more 20" monitors with 1680x1050 res, than 22", which i preffer, better dot pitch for me.

my feelings
By Lightning III on 11/15/2007 2:12:48 PM , Rating: 4
Personally i think considering what the 3870 is fighting its doing incredibly well. by that i mean the situation of the 8800gt rather than the card itself. the "way its meant to be played" situation is, maybe only to me or maybe to everyone, starting to bare a striking similarity to antitrust behaviours. I'm not sure if they directly apply here. but isn't throwing bag loads of money at a software company to all but sabotage the performance of another competing companies products just, i don't really know, just wrong.
In non "TWIMTBP" titles ati are pretty damn competitive with a card that has near 100 million less transistors, and of those it has a lot are dedicated to the ring bus, UVD features and dx10.1 features which means not all of those 666 transistors are comparible to the 8800gt's. So its got an efficient architechture in games that aren't sabotaged before they are even in a playable alpha state.
While i've had a few glitches with the 2900xt and 64bit stability, its not a patch on the troubles i had with 64 bit stability with a 8800gtx.
The other thing reviews seem to miss would be this, because of ATi's seeming reluctance to drop in more ROP's and texture units its highend fps rate is severly limited when its at its worst and can only do 8pixels per clock(i believe the rops work at half speed when using FP32 numbers). but this doesn't effect mimimum framerates as much. when will all reviews show average max and min. one or two reviews showed the GT getting higher max/average but a lower minimum framerate
How useful are average framerates, semi, but what if a card is not getting lower than 30fps, but barely hitting above 60fps, and another due to raw power can peak at 150fps frequently, but often drops to 10fps. the highs outweigh the lows and can cause the average to be higher making the card appear much faster, when in reality, its not as good
Personally i think "TWIMTBP" program needs to be scrapped in favour of both companies being able to work with game makers to make the best games they can, rather than one company being able to hold the other company hostage by buying performance
Even more weirdly, isn't this kind of situation, where a company is almost actively sabotaged, the kind of things american's love to sue everyone over? ok, i think ATi are cannucks, but they must have an american in their PR department somewhere, they get everywhere.
posted by : Drunkenmaster, 15 November 2007 TechFinder

too bad it was eloquently written by someone else

wtf 3870 sold out already on newegg
By Lightning III on 11/15/2007 2:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
prices are 179/3850 and 219/3870 from all the usual suspect's

no variation in price at this time

there are available 3850's if you move now

By Slaimus on 11/16/2007 1:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
AMD grossly misjudged demand for a 256MB card. Had they instead sold 512MB 3850s for $200, they would all be sold out as well.

Legion review biased.
By NullSubroutine on 11/15/2007 5:40:25 AM , Rating: 3
They use 7.10 for 2900 XT but 7.9 for 3800, hmm...

price points
By superunknown98 on 11/15/2007 2:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget these cards are replacing the Radeon 2600 and Geforce 8600 price wise but give performance of last's generation mid-highend cards.(Geforce 8800GTS 320 and Radeon 2900xt) You have to give credit to both companies for that.

3870 is a disappointment
By dudde on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Exodus220 on 11/15/2007 2:45:34 AM , Rating: 5
You are slower than the competition...

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By dudde on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By xti on 11/15/2007 11:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
its not meant to be the performance giant that you want it to be. its supposed to be positioned at a point where its performance is justified with its price tag.

get it through your head that you are much < 1% of the market if you are looking for a performance champion card. obviously you know about their position as a company, so why would they shoot first at the crown and not at the masses?

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By dudde on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Haltech on 11/15/2007 6:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
yeah uhh good luck buying an 8800GT anytime soon

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Parhel on 11/15/2007 9:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
You can buy one on Newegg right now. Right at this very moment, the HD3850 is available there at $179.99 and the HD3870 is available there at $219.99. I believe that's the MSRP.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By jiteo on 11/15/2007 8:49:18 AM , Rating: 1
You MOM is slower than the competition!


Apologies XD

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Pezman37 on 11/15/2007 3:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
I would say what really matters is if the price point is better than the GT. Granted it doesn't perform as well, but if it's fairly cheaper you are still getting a nice bang for your buck. The benchmarks are still pretty good, good frame rates on all the major games. Remember a lot of people go into places like best buy and go with what looks good and is cheap with a marginal amount of research, if any at all.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By EricMartello on 11/15/2007 8:49:15 AM , Rating: 1
I tend to agree that the performance is rather disappointing. I was hoping for another 1900xtx, which trounced the 7800GT and 7800GTX...even out did some 7800GT SLI setups. I'm not much of a "bang for your buck" gamer. I just want all the bang I can get, sadly ATI- no, AMD, fails to deliver in this round.

Until then, I'm sticking with my Creative Labs 3D Blaster!....BOOYAH SUCKAS!!! Oops, that card is obsolete already. I must have been thinking like AMD.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By therealnickdanger on 11/15/2007 9:07:33 AM , Rating: 3
As AT pointed out, if it is 20% slower, but also 20% cheaper... then you can't really complain. So long as the price is reflective of the performance, then you can truly pay for whatever performance suits you. The 3850 hold my interest mostly due to its low cost and UVD. Once it gets under $150, it will be a good replacement for my 7950GT... until something better comes along between now and then.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By EricMartello on 11/15/2007 9:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is, I don't want SLOW, I want fast, and I'm willing to pay...but there is no choice for me right now.

Amazon has a PNY 8800GT listed for $249.99 with free shipping...whenever Nvidia sort out their supply issues, picking up one of those cards seems like the way to go.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Parhel on 11/15/2007 10:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Then buy an overlocked 8800 Ultra. Heck, buy two of them. In comparison, the 8800GT is SLOW.

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By Hase0 on 11/15/2007 12:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure hes talking about the performance type card not the enthusiast type.

Your trying to compare apples to oranges, at least the 3850 is in the same range as the 8800GT

RE: 3870 is a disappointment
By gaakf on 11/15/2007 1:05:06 PM , Rating: 3
Neither of these cards are SLOW. They are extremely good performers at their given price point. The 3850 blows away even the highest end directX 9 parts for well under $200. We have seen excellent releases from both Nvidia and AMD this month.

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