Print 46 comment(s) - last by sgtdisturbed47.. on Feb 23 at 3:31 AM

AMD CrossfireX has never been cheaper
For the first time in a long time, Radeon and GeForce go toe-to-toe over the midrange

With the anticipated launch of the GeForce 9600 GT tomorrow, AMD pre-emptively cut prices on all of its high end Radeon HD 3000 graphics cards.

According to product managers at online retailer Newegg, the Radeon HD 3870 suggested retail price moves from $249 to $189.  AMD will also reduce the suggested retail price of the Radeon HD 3850 512MB from $199 to $169. 

Both price drops were confirmed by AMD officials earlier today. Other retailers, including Amazon and ZipZoomFly, have also confirmed the price drop.

Newegg currently lists the Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 512MB for $170. The retailer lists the Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 below the new suggested retail price, just under $185.  Other vendors are expected to follow suit immediately.

Retailers will announce the NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT tomorrow with a suggested retail price between $170 and $190.  Initial benchmarks peg the 9600 GT just ahead of the Radeon HD 3870, but for the first time in several years AMD and NVIDIA have a real case-by-case shootout again.

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best card for that price?
By jmunjr on 2/20/2008 10:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
So which card is now the best performer for under $190?

RE: best card for that price?
By bryanW1995 on 2/20/2008 10:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
8800gt can be had for under 190 right now. btw, the tests that have 9600gt ahead of 3870 are on oc versions. still a very nice card, though.

RE: best card for that price?
By mWMA on 2/20/2008 11:01:14 PM , Rating: 4
None that come at that price point without mail-in rebates that I could find.
And most of those costing below 200 are 256MB version of 8800GT not the 512MB version.
Most 512MB ones cost around 195+ after 20-30 dollar mail-rebates.

By that price point 3870 is better deal however if the 9600GT 512MB cost 165-175 tomorrow then it is a best deal of the bunch.

RE: best card for that price?
By AnotherGuy on 2/20/2008 11:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
when can we expect a 9800gt or gts and how much faster than current 8800GT or gts will they be?

RE: best card for that price?
By Xodus Maximus on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: best card for that price?
By just4U on 2/21/2008 3:25:23 AM , Rating: 5
For me: (as I've owned/own these cards ..)
3850 48 - 60C
3870 58 - 69C
GTS512 64 - 71C

The 3870 only reaches the 85C point when your Overclocking the hell out of it and not adjusting the fan speeds to compensate. It's accually pretty good when you think what your all getting for the little extra money... and is only slighly slower then the 8800GT.

Only time I see blue screens is when I've pushed my card to far. Otherwise they've handled everything perfectly fine with NO problems. I did hear reports that some people were having problems with some fans not ramping up under load but eh .. I mean That happens. Was similiar issues with several GT's as well.

RE: best card for that price?
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 9:39:53 AM , Rating: 2
My 3850 (Asus 512MB version) idles at 31C. The reference cooler design is crap.

RE: best card for that price?
By phorensic on 2/21/2008 12:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, 31C is "cold" for a computer part, let alone a GPU. What do you expect out of a stock cooler exactly?

RE: best card for that price?
By PrinceGaz on 2/21/2008 7:45:36 PM , Rating: 4
I think he was implying that his doesn't have the reference cooler, which is why it idles at as low a temperature as 31C. I haven't checked what cooling Asus use, though.

RE: best card for that price?
By WTurner on 2/21/2008 11:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
The Asus 3850 does not use the reference cooler, it uses a Zalman-esque large circular fan without a "wind tunnel".

RE: best card for that price?
By Xodus Maximus on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: best card for that price?
By PrinceGaz on 2/21/2008 8:05:24 PM , Rating: 1
If your graphics-card crashes at a core-temp of around 60C, then you are either overclocking the hell out of it (such that it must be kept cool to be stable), or you have a faulty card.

Pretty much any mid-range or higher card from nVidia or AMD is designed to run reliably at as much as 80C if necessary (many can run even higher than that, though I'd check the cooling isn't blocked if it actually does).

My old 6800GT developed a fault with the fan but could still run at stock-speeds in games without errors up to the throttling temperature of 135C, at which point the speed was automatically halved. Admittedly it died after being tortured with the most stressful tests I could throw at it for many months, but GPUs are designed to live with much higher temperatures than CPUs. There's not many CPUs around today which could run at 135C for a few minutes, let alone many many hours.

By the way, if anyone reading this ever does have a graphics-card with a failed fan which reaches that sort of temperature, be careful when handling it as the heatsink will be very hot indeed for some time after the PC is powered down. It won't be the full temperature of the core but could well be over 100C soon after shutdown and would burn your fingers badly if touched (the heat needs to go somewhere and copper or aluminium at 100C will rapidly conduct heat into your fingers). Wait for it to cool, or if you are in a hurry, use oven-gloves or the like to remove it and to make the most of it, cook some breakfast on your new mini-grill :)

RE: best card for that price?
By just4U on 2/21/2008 3:11:57 AM , Rating: 5
Well here in Canada Most GT's are 250+ and the 3870's come in around 220 to 230ish. If they mean to drop the 3870 to 189 in my region then I think that puts it smack dab in the holy crap that's good deal catagory. I've used all these cards right on up to the GTS512 and the modest price increases you see is pretty fair overall from a price/performance perspective. This new drop makes them even more enticing to buy

For those of you who havent' pulled the trigger and are sitting on video cards that are 2 years old or so.. (midrange ect) Think of it this way.

The 3850 is very comparable to the older 8800 GTS 384. and the Bar is raised higher with each card (3870, GT,GTS512 ect) Last spring Nvidia release a Whooper with the 8800 Line and now were seeing affordable solution(s) with similiar or greater performance by both Nvidia and ATI.. which is pretty damn cool I think.

Good times in the mid range!! :D

RE: best card for that price?
By Samus on 2/21/2008 3:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
So basically what you're sayin thar is yer dollar is worth more than our dollar but your hardware costs more anyway, eh?

RE: best card for that price?
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 9:40:41 AM , Rating: 1
Most likely because of VAT.

RE: best card for that price?
By mmntech on 2/21/2008 9:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
Businesses claim it has to do with the higher cost of doing business in Canada, but that's BS. For the most part, hardware prices are dropping but a lot of places are still overcharging. Best Buy of course but TigerDirect and NCIX are equally guilty at times. Unfortunately, a lot of the US retailers like Newegg and Zipzoomfly won't ship to Canada.
There's no VAT in Canada by the way, as one of the other posters mentioned. All prices listed are before sales tax. We pay 5% goods and services tax to the feds and an additional provincial sales tax, which is 8% here in Ontario.

I've been thinking about buying a HD 3850 so the price drop is some good news.

RE: best card for that price?
By just4U on 2/21/2008 12:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all Samus. Part of it has to do with brand recognition. Most Canadian retailers just carry the major ones (evga xfx Bfg) How many of those are selling at the $190 in the states? Id think very few (if any) Also, Unfotunately we do not have "new egg" here in Canada. NCIX is our closest to american pricing... In most respects we get similiar prices.. but when you factor in "SALES" nope, I haven't seen any 8800GT in Canada yet for $190.

RE: best card for that price?
By Ashrac on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: best card for that price?
By ThePooBurner on 2/21/2008 5:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
yes you are mistaken. 38xx is dx10.1, and 9600 is only dx10.

RE: best card for that price?
By 3kliksphilip on 2/21/2008 12:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised about the 9600 only including DX 10 . I thought that NVIDIA would play 'catch up' with ATI as quickly as possible, despite the benefits from DX 10.1 being minimal. Maybe they're keeping their cards with just DX 10 in order to make the owners of Geforce 8800's less jealous when the new cards come out... or possibly just to stunt the number of DX 10.1 games, simply to make ATI's improvements redundant.

Does any one know anything about the 9800's yet regarding DX 10.1? Is it true that they'll strap two Geforce 8800 GT's together and name it a 9800 GX2? Surely that's just cheating. 8900 would be much more understandable.

RE: best card for that price?
By Ashrac on 2/21/2008 3:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh see I was reading

and was confused by
Though the 9600 GT will be the mid-range card in the D9x graphics family, with such impressive performance over the previous generation, many have already proclaimed the G94 the pinnacle of price-performance in the series.

the D9x part in particular. Read that as DX9 Family. No idea what they mean by D9x though.

RE: best card for that price?
By KristopherKubicki on 2/21/2008 4:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
The codename for G94 is actually D9P. The low end part is D9M, the high end part is D9E.

RE: best card for that price?
By Ashrac on 2/21/2008 6:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh darn secret codenames! So many numbers these days. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

RE: best card for that price?
By opterondo on 2/21/2008 10:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
yes ONLY DX10.0

By sgtdisturbed47 on 2/23/2008 3:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think the 8800GT can be had for that price.

Price cut like that means they are freaked out. Reducing price and profit means they are trying to sell as fast as they can. If they were confident that their product was on par or superior to any nVidia equivalent, they would keep their price the same and rely on tested performance.

By Belard on 2/21/2008 1:32:58 AM , Rating: 3
Its the sub $200 market that makes the money... last years 2400/2600 8 8400~8600 cars TOTALLY SUCKED!

These current cards from ATI & Nvidia have excellent performance for the price!!

A friend bought a 3850 a month ago for $170... and a few days from a local store - got the 3870 for $199... this new price may make him grumble, but he hasn't opened it yet.

mmmm.... the 3870 is looking good. I guess we'll have reviews of the GF9600GT, but from what I've seen so far, its between the 3850 & 3870 (hate these stupid AMD names... 3700 / 3800 would have sounded better).

Hopefully the 9800GT will be TWICE as fast as a single 8800GT ;)

By Goty on 2/21/2008 1:52:42 AM , Rating: 2
Well considering that the 9800GX2 is essentially just going to be two 8800GTs on a single board, I'd expect it to outperform the 3870X2 by a pretty good margin (maybe 15%-ish).

My only question is this: are the HD38x0 cards ATI's refresh for this architecture, or are they planning something for the second quarter to compete with the new 9x00 cards?

By hwhacker on 2/21/2008 3:04:21 AM , Rating: 2
AFAWK ATi is planning on releasing the Rv7xx series in tail-end Q2, speculated to be in June.

Rumored specs can be found here and they look convincing:,7356.html

Basically the Rv740 looks to be comparable to the 3800 series for less dollar because of TMU optimizations. In the area of the high-end Fudzilla (FWIW) has reported that AMD is getting their expected return from RV770 - 50% faster than RV670.

Personally, I'm holding out for these because I think we'll see the 4700 series replace the 3800 series' original pricing, roughly $200-250.

By hwhacker on 2/21/2008 3:07:57 AM , Rating: 2
crap, I meant 4800 series.

By DingieM on 2/21/2008 5:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
I thought so too, waiting game for the RV7xx.
These are the real killer mainstream gaming cards.
Looks to me that AMD/ATI got its act together real nice and is catching up to nVidia and even outpaces them...

Way to go!

By Goty on 2/21/2008 9:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's good to know that they've got something in the pipeline, but come on! Still only 16 ROPs? That's always been one of ATI's bottlenecks when compared to NVIDIA's cards.

By Gul Westfale on 2/20/2008 10:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
... but is there any news on a price cut for the 3870X2?

RE: good...
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 10:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
None yet, but it looks like its coming down too.

RE: good...
By AnotherGuy on 2/20/2008 11:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
when can we expect a 9800gt or gts and how much faster than current 8800GT or gts will they be?

sry double post

RE: good...
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 11:08:25 PM , Rating: 3
NVIDIA will have a dual-g92 solution in the next few weeks too. They are purposely keeping the date close right now. AMD will drop the price of their dual RV670 card once the date firms up.

By christojojo on 2/20/2008 11:00:40 PM , Rating: 3
I now know how the other people felt when they bought a card 2-3 weeks before a price change. Oh well, my impatience, my dollar.

RE: Bummed
By Rookierookie on 2/21/2008 12:02:39 AM , Rating: 5
Think too much about it, and you'll NEVER buy a graphics card.

By shradius on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: 9600gt
By Creig on 2/21/2008 7:53:38 AM , Rating: 5
You paired a weak-as-hell 8600 with a Quad core processor and you're telling OTHERS not to penny pinch?

There's nothing wrong with ATI's lineup right now. They have good performing cards with solid driver support, all at a very nice price.

RE: 9600gt
By Hieyeck on 2/22/2008 4:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
driver support = key.

It seemed for a while that nVidia gave up on XP users as I had to wait 4 MONTHS for a driver update. I usually buy ATI/AMD because ATI used to be Canadian (heck, I lived 2 minutes from their HQ) and they've never shafted me (my first card was the 9200 and was it a beast for $100). I hate being labelled as biased and decided to give nVidia a spin. Nice cards, but 10 extra frames at twice the price? And I found it to be less stable. Okay, maybe some games needed the extra power, but lord the drivers. FOUR MONTHS. You can't go 4 weeks without ATI putting up another update, even if it's only a minor tweak. I prefer stability over power. I don't want to be playing games and having it BSOD on me. ATI for me.

By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 9:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
I just bought a 3850 last week :(

RE: Damn
By totallycool on 2/21/2008 10:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Return it if possible, at least in US most stores have a 14 - 30 day refund policy :)

I'll take 4
By eye smite on 2/22/2008 8:13:05 PM , Rating: 4
Just 4

the real deal
By opterondo on 2/21/2008 9:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
If you buy ATI especially the 3850 you got took. Does it

perform the function of a video card? Yes. Is it the best

choice out? .. No Plus ATI video quality isn't up to par

lately because they have to use extensive driver

optimizations just to have competitive frame rates. The

8800GT, 8800GTS-512, 9600GT are the way to go and they

don't even cost any more cause everyones buying them so you

get the volume adjusted pricing, see.

i'm gonna wait
By opterondo on 2/21/2008 10:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
When I buy my PowerVR KyroX chipped video card thats gonna

be released in like 5 years it'll ruin they lame crap they

peddle today. I'm just gonna wait plus it'll be cheaper in

5 years cause there will be more Chinese to make stuff to

satisfy my consumerism. Yarr!

while i'm on the subject
By opterondo on 2/21/2008 10:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
SLI is overrated and does not work like you think it does

-- it does use 2x the watt power

-- costs 2x as much plus mobo considerations

-- you get like 30% higher FPS when your driving a 42"

plasma @ 2560x1600 not your lcd monitor @ 1280 x 1024

(@ 1280 x 1024 SLI is probably slower if not on par with

a single card)

-- the other thing is it doesn't matter if your MAX FPS is

500 when your MIN FPS drops below 35 it's a choppy dog

crap experience (we need to see more MIN FPS benchs)

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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