AMD Radeon HD 3800: The Empire Strikes Back

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cruiseoveride

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eg of my cruiseFX(x);

cruiseFX(x,p) = p*(1-x);

so if you have a
2nd hand s55 amg - about $50,000, with a x factor of 99%
a 8800gtx about $500, with an x factor of about 65%

the cruiseFx reveals the following.

cruiseFX_benz(99%,50000) = 500
cruiseFX_geforce(65%,500) = 175

damn! i've been out wighted by my own invention,

so there you have it folk, may all your decisions be at lest 2 dimensional from now, and merry christmas!!!
 

speedbird

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I don't understand why the 3870 is being seen as something fantastic by some over the 2900XT, but offers very litte. I agree with the earlier person common-sense really has left the building.
 

cleeve

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Quoted for truth.

Nice to see another human being who isn't a fanboy of either camp but seems to have some plain old common sense. :D
 

gamebro

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I found this review by toms to be fair and reasonable considering the claims made by ATI.

Was toms harsh on ATI ? yes.
Deservingly so? IMO-- yes.

Whether it be NV, INTEL, AMD, ATI, I don't care, but when you jack your customers around by misleading them, you deserve to get a bad rap.
Naming these new cards 38xx and making big claims in regards to having dx10.1 was a sad attempt to cash in on people who don't have the time to properly research what they buy.
If NV had done the same thing, I'd hope toms would be harsh on them too in a review.

I don't think Toms is bias against ATI.... And if you think that, then perhaps you haven't been around here long? They are disappointed with certain design decisions and I think every ATI fan should be! There was a lot of great missed opportunities with the 38xx cards. I personally am let down, as I was really hoping this card would be more powerful then the 8800GT, not because I am a ATI fan, but because we always need more power for less $ =D

Bottom line is that the 3850 is a very very attractive card for people on a budget, and has a lot more overclock headroom then the 3870. Toms made this clear. This is a pretty good buy at the moment.

The 3870 has a bit less OC headroom (and should be the average) yet is also a very good buy IF nvidia fails to get more boards out and at the desired price of $230.

How is that bias reporting? Or not fair? ATI got spanked, and when they stop acting like children TOMS will respect them once again. IMO-- good article, and a good read! Thank you toms!
 

Florian Charpentier

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Thank you.

For those who complain about the commas, yes, the article was originally written in French, which is, why. More seriously: we'll work on that next time.

Regarding the accusation of being an nvidia-fanboy it reassure's me as for the last article some of you said I was an AMD-fanboy. ;) But be more specific: quote the paragraphs that are not based on facts.

Regarding the presentation of the graphs: does everyone want us to split each game in two? Because that's not a problem.
 

pidesd

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well i think the best would be to make a graph for each setting and maybe not to put the winner at the top, especially not the winner for the lowest res. showing the minimum frame rates would be good also.

also the graphs i think are the most important and sometimes overlooked aspect for reviewers(sometimes maybe intentionally...). so don t hesitate to put lots of info like how many times it dipped into the lowest frame rates.

i liked the quantity of res shown though...albeit there were more before..

courage cousin français ;)



 

1nexus

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hi, b4 i get flamed by one of the fanboy camps can i just say that i have 4 machines 2 running ati and 2 running nvidia....

what i found intersesting reading the hardwarecanucks review was the overclocking results and the fitting of the duo-orb, if and it's a big IF ati can sort the obviously buggy driver situation out we are looking at something quite unique imo...........

efficient-cool-relatively powerful-quiet-and CHEAP!!!!!!!!
 

Ironnads

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- Perhaps common sense has simply decided to buy the card that offers MOST FRAMES PER DOLLAR.... :non:
 

GloriosoSLB

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The card is perfect!

Performs about the same has the 2900XT but much cheaper.

With a lot of pros:
-UVD!
-DX10.1!!!
-lower power consuming specially at idle that takes the card 80W lower than the 2900XT!
-Cheap!
-Can be used in crossfire with any Intel/Ati board (that has two 16x slots)!
-Driver improvements to surely come!

I also see some new 3880/3890 to come after seeing the OC results where the card obliterates the 8800GTX.

When the 8800GT was released I couldn’t see any reason to buy any Ati card or any Nvidia card only some dumb dumb guy can say that the 8800GTS 320/640 is still a good deal today. Even the 8800GTX got stuck because the 8800GT has video decoding, performs about the same with lower power consuming and you can buy two for one (when the prices establish).

Now with this card being on par with the 8800GT and with DX10.1 I can’t see any other reason to go after any other card. Period. I bought one 6800 because it had SM3 while the X800 didn’t. The X800 was faster and still is on today games, but the lack of SM3.0 makes some of them unplayable. So in the end its better have DX10.1 than not have it even if it’s useless now.

Toms you are paid to review cards. This wasn’t a review. More of a comparison. Comparisons aren’t reviews. And when you review a specific product make your biased opinion and stupid comments stick in the closet.
 

pogsnet

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@niz
ATI has better picture quality than nVidia with just few FPS away. Actually 2fps lead in crysis but nVidia has poorer quality pictures compared to ATI. Plus it is compatible with X38 and soon X48 boards. Those are the reasons why people should buy ATI.
 

chuckshissle

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Based on Toms reviews of the HD 3870 512Mb and Newegg's price of $220, this card is giving all competition to include the 8800GT a run for it's money. Wow! Just wow! This is now my new list to get for my upgrade.

Correction: HD 3870 512Mb
 

twile

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Ahhh, I remember back in the day, when I picked up a Radeon 9700 Pro during launch week for $330, and it absolutely destroyed everything else by margins of 100% or higher with all the stuff cranked up.

What happened to those good ol' days? Now the high-end is far past the $300-400 mark, performance gains from one generation to the next are slim, and half the time they can't be had without adding second slot coolers.

Oh 110-million-150-nm-transistor Radeon 9700 Pro, I miss you :<

Also, I miss the reviews that Tom's did back then. The 13-page technical overview of the amazing improvements the R300 was to bring [ http://www.tomshardware.com/2002/07/18/ati_takes_over_3d_technology_leadership_with_radeon_9700/ ] such as the "new DDR2 memory type" was much more satisfying than the 6-page section of this review, and the 29 page benchmark of the card [ http://www.tomshardware.com/2002/08/19/ati_radeon_9700_pro_/index.html ] was almost as enjoyable as the 50-200% performance gains the card itself brought.

All my reminiscing about the past aside, I can't help but be a little disappointed. Where are the higher-end parts? Nvidia has obscenely overpriced high-end stuff because AMD/ATI can't touch them in that respect. As soon as AMD/ATI put out things which threaten that, perhaps we'll see prices drop, bringing great performance into affordable price ranges. See, I'm not going to want to limit myself to the performance gains I can get from a $180 card, nor a $220 card, or even a $280 card. I'm willing to spend $300-350, possibly a little higher, so I can enjoy new games at good resolutions and have them be playable. So all of this "8800 GT vs 38xx" stuff is pretty worthless to me. Unless of course it turns out that the cards scale very well when used in parallel... they're so bloody cheap that to fulfill my ~$350 need, I could very nearly buy two lower-end ones.
 

cruiseoveride

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fuk that

9500pro bitches, i totally 8 pipelined that.

they days when ATi could totally kick ass like it was no tomorrow, ahh how those days are gone, its like how jag once won F1 40yrs ago, and never won it again.

Better luck next time AMD/ATi
 

PeterHighlander

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This articles fails MISERABLY because it completely neglected to comment on the FACT that nVidia's 8800GT launch was HEAVILY influenced by this ATI/AMD launch!! If ATI/AMD had really missed the mark nVidia wouldn't have brought out a card that offers more performance at 1/2 the price of the 8800GTS! This review definitely felt biased because it did not point out a major question which ATI just answered.

Question 3 weeks ago: Why did nVidia release the 8800GT which is FASTER and CHEAPER than it's 8800GTS?
Answered by ATI: Because ATI's new card is just as fast as the 8800GTS and nearly 1/2 the price!

For the past 6-12 months getting a higher end video card has been overpriced. I know companies are about making money but after months of fleecing, nVidia could have let up much sooner! nVidia's 8800GTS 640Meg card for nearly $400 bucks and passing off the 8600GTS as a "good mid range card", come on. ATI/AMD I'll cut slack because their financial state is well known and the over priced XT should really be considered a donation.

Praise should and needs to be given to ATI/AMD for bringing back some competition in the $200 price range. Even more praise should be given for bringing back the sub $180 card that can play new games at reasonable visual and performance levels!

Every hardware enthusiast who bought an 8800GT should donate at least $50 bucks because ATI saved you well over $100 on your last purchase. Without alternatives the customer definitely gets fleeced! Since nVidia and Intel BOTH are sitting on piles of cash, it's time to cut prices back a bit.

Personally, I don't need bragging rights, I just want inexpensive hardware to run current games at very playable rates, is that really asking too much? :p

My 2 Cents.
 

GloriosoSLB

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PeterHighlander I completely agree with you.

Nvidia release was rushed because they wanted to show "we are first".
It was so much rushed that instead of putting the 8900GT name they put a lower designation for a product that performs faster.
8800GTS < 8800GT <= 8800GTX < 8800Ultra

Want to bet we will see some 8800GS soon?
Besides what will Nvidia partners do with the amount of 8800GTS 320/640 and 8800GTX that nobody wants?
 

ratbert

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Proof is is the pudding! Where are they? Where is the link for the #'s you throw out.
 

deathblooms2k1

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I really think this was a pathetic review. Every card listed was designed for directx10 and yet he decides to do benches for directx 9. FYI people are buying cutting edge cards looking towards the future, we want to know how our card is going to handle cutting edge graphics. If you are going to do dumbed down directx9 you might as well choose games from 2 years ago.

2nd this reviewer can't keep a biased dialog out of his composition. Seriously there are ways to represent the company you favor without such a bias vocabulary. And if you figure out how to do that chances are you won't have intelligent people automatically judging your review as garbage based off of their first impressions.

I use an 8800GTS 320 mb everybody I know in person that owns an 8800 series card is running vista and directx10 games. Yes I do realize there are plenty of people with directx10 cards still running XP, however I havn't seen a game yet that hasn't had playable frame rates in vista with directx10 on my 8800.
 

hergieburbur

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My criticisms were for the following reasons:
First, it was not necessary or productive to include 5 pages of fluff about Direct3D10.1 that could have been summarized in one page. More importantly, most of the data here was somewhat off-topic and belongs in a separate article on Direct3D10.1.

There are certain statements that I took issue with, and I think the article would have been better off without them:

"Contrary to what their name may imply, let's right away cut through the marketing smoke screen, which AMD couldn't resist to pull once more;" - statements like this right at the beginning automatically make you appear biased and undermine your credibility.

"The difference between the two Radeon HD 3800s, even though they're based on the same chip, is important and, first and foremost, physical." - I would think the difference in clocks and memory types would be more important to most people than the slot and fan size. I guess not.

There are some good statements that are the important things we should be seeing in a hardware review, such as:
"There are still only 16 texturing units (what a shame not to take the opportunity to correct this limitation!) and 16 ROP."
"AMD steps up by enabling the activation of the PowerPlay of the Radeon Mobility on the HD 3800."
"Also on stage, the UVD, yet absent from the HD 2900 XT if you recall, but the GeForce 8800 GT gaining back PureVideo 2, the Canadian didn't have a choice and it's all for the best."
"It's not really surprising, the HD 3800 brings about a huge drop in consumption compared to the HD 2900 XT, but the extent of it surprises us; the drop in peak total consumption amounts to 109 W when going from a 2900 XT to the 3870 with performances that are slightly superior!"

THESE are the types of things we want to see in reviews, not the needless fluff that undermines your credibility as a reviewer. I am not trying to be critical, but rather offer constructive feedback so that the reviews can improve.
 

nicolasb

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3870 and 3850 are both mid-range cards. The high-end card is coming in January: that will combine two RV670 chips on one board.
 

nicolasb

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The 8800GT is 20% faster, but if it's also 20% more expensive, that doesn't necessarily make it the better buy.

The ATI cards are much quieter (don't believe the THG noise benchmarks, they f*cked that one up), run cooler, and use less electricity (particularly in 2D mode). They also have arguably superior video decoding capability and a better implementation of HDMI. Plus, you can actually buy an ATI card; 8800GT seems to be stuck in permanent stock-shortage mode.

An 8800GT may very well be a much better choice for you, and it may be the right choice for me, but that doesn't make it the right choice for absolutely everybody; some people care about other things besides raw gaming performance.
 

speedbird

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Yes it is, but the 3870 does not exactly have low power consumption. People who want a low power system do not buy performance cards full stop. It's just an improved 2900XT, but losing some of the time lol...not really anything to shout about.
 

crom

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Yea, good move by ATI in terms of pricing. Thank god they've finally fixed the power consumption of their cards as well as the noise.
 

Anoobis

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Considering you get just about the same performance of the 2900XT without the power consumption and for a much cheaper cost than even the HD 2900Pro, I would call it a decent card.

I get a kick out of you people. You're talking about a card that is on par if not better than an 640 8800GTS and costs quite a bit less. On top of that it's little brother has stellar performance for the cost handing the pitiful 8600GTS it's arse.

We finally have decent offerings available through both companies across a broad price range and it seems like everyone still whines about it.
 

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