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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 Xodus Maximus on 2/21/2008 11:30:00 AM , Rating: -1
the heat argument was secondary, my primary comment was that the 3870 is an "overclocked" 3850 with GDDR4, since they still use the R670, so comparing it to a 9600 that is oveclocked is accurate. I was using the heat to prove the point.

About the blue screens, that was a huge disappointment for me as I use 3DS, XSI, and Blender, all which tax the video card a bit more than a game since they stay open for much of the day, granted they arent always refreshing the screen like a game. Anyway, even with good ventilation that causes my "reference cooler" 3850 to slowly go above 60C, and then a short time afterward an ati DLL crashes (im not sure of the actual temperature when it happens), even in your statement you put the 3850 at 60C max. Maybe I just have a bad chip that doesn't deal with heat well...

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 :)

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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