ATI Radeon HD 3870 and 3850: 55nm RV670

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The current trend in the GPU business is to ‘hard launch’ a product; that is the goal is to have retail-ready products available for purchase the moment they’re unveiled.  To coincide with AMD’s announcement of the new Radeon HD 3870 and HD 3850, we actually received not one, but two cards in full retail trim courtesy of AMD’s premiere ATI board partner, Sapphire.


The Sapphire Radeon HD 3870

What you see pictured above is the Sapphire Radeon HD 3870.  The actual card’s specifications don’t differ from ATI’s reference design, and as such, performance between the two is identical.  Sapphire’s card also uses the same dual-slot cooler, albeit with a custom Sapphire-branded decal.  Just like ATI’s reference design, the Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 pictured here sports an RV670 GPU and 512MB of frame buffer memory.


The Sapphire Radeon HD 3850

Sapphire’s Radeon HD 3850 card is also virtually identical to ATI’s reference design.  The Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 pictured here sports the same GPU, PCB, and memory configuration as ATI-branded cards.  Where Sapphire differentiates their cards, however, is with some value added bundled software. Sapphire’s Radeon HD 3800 series cards ship with Valve’s excellent Black-Box gaming suite, a full retail copy of 3DMark06, and full versions of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD and DVD Suite.

We should also note that Sapphire has an ‘Ultimate’ Edition silent Radeon HD 3850 in the works. The Ultimate Edition will sport a passive, single-slot cooler.  We haven’t gotten our hands on one yet, but we suspect a silent, single-slot, Radeon HD 3850 is going to be mighty popular with the HTPC crowd.

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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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