ATI Radeon HD 3870 and 3850: 55nm RV670

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The actual RV670-based Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 cards feature new PCB and heatsink cooler designs that are welcome changes from the Radeon 2900 XT.


ATI Radeon HD 3870

The Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 are both about a half an inch shorter than the Radeon HD 2900 XT, and should have no clearance issues in any standard case.  The Radeon HD 3870 pictured here features 512MB of GDDR4 memory clocked at 1126MHz (2.25GHz DDR), which results in just over 72GB/s of peak bandwidth. The card’s GPU is clocked at 777MHz – 37MHz higher than reference 2900 XT cards.

The Radeon HD 3870’s cooler is a dual-slot design, which thankfully is much quieter than the 2900 XT’s as well.  We should note that when first powered on, the fan on the Radeon HD 3870 spins up and produces an significant amount of noise, but it quickly spins down and is near silent.  Over the course of testing, it never spun up to top speed – even with two cards installed into a basic mid-tower chassis.  We’re also told that some AIB partners are planning to produce single-slot versions of the HD 3870, but we have yet to see one for ourselves.



ATI Radeon HD 3850

As you probably expected, the Radeon HD 3850 is based on the same PCB as the 3870, but it has lower GPU and memory clock speeds.  The Radeon HD 3850 features a 670MHz GPU and 256MB of 830MHz (1.66GHz DDR) GDDR3 memory for a total of 52GB/s of peak bandwidth. Unlike the HD 3870, however, all reference-clocked HD 3850 cards feature a quiet single-slot cooler.

Something you may have also noticed is that both the Radeon HD 3870 and HD 3850 require only a single 6-pin supplemental PCI Express power connection.  Thanks to the RV670’s 55nm manufacturing process and architectural tweaks, cards based on the GPU require much less power than the R600 and can get by with only a single additional power connection.  Does that GPU look tiny by today's standards, or what?

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jtm55 7 years ago

 Hi All,


Great review on both cards. It looks as though AMD/ATI is back in the Graphics card game again. That's great for us Gamers because now Price Wars! 

I do have a question, has AMD/ATI abandoned the High End Graphics card arena? 


Dave_HH 7 years ago
Definitely not, at least according to our sources. The first half of 08 should bring new high-end toys from both sides of the Graphics pond!
ice91785 7 years ago

 Holy power consumption Batman!! It is definately a more utility bill friendly card than the 2900 (consuming about half its idle and load power) and the performance output really isn't bad at all -- as I would almost input that the 2900's was when compared to the 8xxx series especially with power consumption and price comparison was taken into the mix..

It's just too bad it took ATI more than a year to semi-catch up with nVidia's 8 series but hopefully they can stay on the ball eh? Exciting exciting.


BTW: if you admins are sick of these taking up space in the labs I can probably take them off your hands -- if you're lucky I mean Big Smile 


EDIT: Just also noticed the 8870s are quite a bit cheaper than the 8800GT's also .... what to do, what to do.... 

Grahf 7 years ago

Good to see DAMMIT is getting competitive again in the GPU market. They still need to get their high end parts up there though. Even though where the bulk of sales occurs is mainstream not having those high end parts affects people's purchasing decisions. People want to go with the company that looks like they are superior on all fronts. Hopefully their next GPU can actually rival Nvidia's high end. Image is important.

ice91785 7 years ago

 Well getting a 55nm process down for the GPU is pretty sweet in itself -- more space and less heat :) :) Too bad AMD isn't following this up with 55nm CPU  eh? ;)

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