The Radeon HD 3870 is good but it's not fantastic.
We don't doubt though that as we see new drivers from AMD performance will begin to go up. You have to remember though that this card is priced at $250 US (or roughly $350 AUD) so it's not an expensive card like your normal next-gen offering.
Looking over our questions from the intro the card does perform quite well and is a nice step up from the HD 2900 XT at a very good price. It's really in direct competition with the 8800GT although it never really manages to perform as well as it, bar a few cases. It's a good card and if you want a multi card setup on your P35/X38 motherboard, it's going to be a better option than a single 8800 Ultra. Should NVIDIA be worried? Not really. By the time AMD get a really kick ass driver out for the 3870 the new models from NVIDIA could be around the corner and the whole fight starts over again.
The card is good, there's no denying that and it's a decent purchase for someone who wanted an AMD offering and was looking at the HD 2900 XT. The bottom line though is that it's not fantastic, which is okay, the price is good and little things like the quieter fan, HDMI convertor and DX10.1 support make it a more attractive card for some people but as a straight out performer it's just good.
As we come up to the jolly season it's time to start buying yourself a new video card and if AMD can get a good driver out in early December and then make sure it's covered well over the world wide interweb it could be a fantastic card.
Personally I would probably almost opt for the 3870 for a few reasons we have already mentioned - the noise level is great, the 8800GT is really just a loud and hence annoying card. Really who wants to bother messing around with aftermarket coolers and taking the risk of voiding the warranty? Stock also doesn't seem to be an issue and price is pretty good. The inclusion of HDMI and UVD are nice so it could be retired to my HTPC when the true next generation cards come out and as someone who tests the Catalyst drivers monthly I've seen firsthand the improvements that happened on the high-end AMD offerings and I don't doubt in no time this card will be screaming along.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package]
- Page 3 [The Card]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark05]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Prey]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Company of Heroes]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - World in Conflict]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Crysis Demo]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - Vista]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Call of Juarez (DX10) - Vista]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet (DX10) - Vista]
- Page 16 [Benchmarks - Company of Heroes (DX10) - Vista]
- Page 17 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 18 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 19 [Final Thoughts]
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