Sapphire has done a good job with the HD 3850 and it clearly is deserving of the Ultimate name that it carries. The overclocked offering does give it a boost in performance at some stages, and not so much at others. There's no doubt that there are a number of people who would prefer to have a completely silent card and sacrifice a few FPS over having something with a fan.
The HD 3850 isn't a bad card as it stands; when you throw Sapphire's version into the mix it becomes a little bit better. There's no doubt that it's one of the faster silent cards around, and for people who don't want the noise there really isn't many more options.
Clearly the card gets a bit toasty, but you have to remember that we run it in an open environment without any form of fans or airflow blowing directly over the components so this does tend to heat it up a bit more.
It will be interesting to see if Sapphire are able to do something with the more powerful HD 3870 in the new year, but for now if you're looking for an excellent performing graphics card with a silent cooling solution it's definitely worth checking out the Ultimate offering from Sapphire.
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