It wasn't until the end that we finally saw the value in the GIGABYTE 3870 with Zalman cooling. Really there's no reason that it should be any faster than a stock clocked card. The improvements it has should make it more efficient, which it certainly is. Asking for an extra 1000 3DMarks isn't what this card is about.
While we didn't see the full package we do know that it comes with Neverwinter Nights 2 which is a nice addition, and also that the box follows a NWN2 theme on it which looks very funky as well.
We also see the mention of Ultra Durable 2 components and of course the Zalman cooling solution. While we can only guess on what else is inside the package, no doubt it will be the standard DVI to VGA connectors, Molex to PCI Express connector, Component Out cables along with your manual and driver CD. It really should be a nice little card to own if you're having a hunt for the 3870.
The only real problem we can see with the card is at the moment the 3870 has the jump on the 8800GT in the price department. It's a little bit cheaper than the 8800GT and it's a little bit slower most of the time. If the price premium on the GIGABYTE is too great and puts us into 8800GT territory then it's going to be hard to buy the card from a performance perspective.
With that said though, if you're running a smaller box then you don't want something that draws so much power and heats things up considerably. If you're simply after a performance card that is extremely quiet then this could be the card to get.
GIGABYTE has done a great job with the 3870 and clearly it took them an extra few weeks to get their own model under way as we know the 3870 has been out for a little bit now. While stock hasn't shown up we don't doubt it will be far away, but it could pop up in Australia a little too late to get in before Christmas.
Hopefully we see GIGABYTE push their Ultra Durable 2 technology onto more graphics cards in the near future.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.