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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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 :)

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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