AMD Radeon HD 3800: The Empire Strikes Back

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bojangles34

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I think everything has been said in this post.

Those who will wait for an 8800 GT will wait.

Those who will buy a HD 3870 will get one.

ATI>Nvidia in Price/Performance

Nvidia>ATI in Higher FPS.

I say wait for the next couple driver releases from ATI and then you can decide.
 

wirelessfender

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Exactly! If AMD is consistent like they have been on the performance boosts per update than their cards are only going to keep getting better and better. And yes, 2 3850's = an 8800GTX(don’t know about and ultra though). However I cant find ANY benches of 2 3870's. That should be a very interesting benchmark.

I too am not an AMD fan boy. I do wish they would be performing better right now as im not entirely sure there is anything out right now that would run crysis the way I would like it to. I just have to wonder if AMD had better hardware out sooner than nolw it would have pushed Intel and Nvidia somewhat and we would have that better hardware by this point. I have almost everything sitting right next to me for my next pc build, except a Motherboard/CPU/GPU. I still cant find anything I like, looks like January I hope at the latest I can decide on something.
 

computertech82

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You didn't look did you? you will wait for the 8800GT.

YOU WILL ALSO WAIT FOR THE 3870 (out of stock).
 

tenaciousleydead

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Supposedly 500,000 by xmas(3870), nVidia quoted only 50k(8800GT). ATI/AMD definitely need to improve crossfire driver support, and drivers in general. I think this will paint a different picture after they work out the kinks
 

bojangles34

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Okay, so right now there's a bit of a wait, but isn't it like that at any electronic launch? XBOX 360 and PS3, anyone? But since there's TEN FOLD as many ATI cards coming by Christmas, so you're ten times more people are likely to get the card. So instead of having a 10% chance for a 8800GT, you have a 100% chance of getting a 3870. I think that is a vital part for ATI in the marketplace. Knowing that more poeple can get one, will make their card succeed this holiday season.

And yes, I also agree that their crossfire driver support needs to be kicked up a notch, BUT...since they are taking on the quad-Crossfire setups soon, I bet in some future updates they will be releasing really good quality Crossfire drivers. They MUST master the dual setups before quad, since most people only have enough PCI-E slots for dual-setups.
 

Spyhawk

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Well Ive read many Hd3800 reviews, been to many forums and the conclusions I get from all of this is that this ATI/AMD launch is a success. Many people from all over are praising this card. Sure there are some ATI fanboys that complain because they wanted something faster and also there are them NV fanboys that try to paint the HD3800 serries as another desaster for AMD/ATI, but overwhelmingly people seem to be positive and enthusiastic about the cards.
 

jalek

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24 mentions of AMD, ATI doesn't even appear in the body of the article.

In spite of what I thought of the article's editorial license, it looks like I'll still be waiting for the GT to get closer to MSRP.
 

Blackra1n

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An interesting topic not included is the longevity of the card.. although mentioned by Phrozt I don't see anyone who is king of the future except father time... I don't really belong to either side.. but I am the proud owner of a HIS X1950PRO (three months back I was going for a 7900GS but they almost disappeared) but I am glad I ended up getting ATi anyway because of guess what? longevity... apparently I can best a 7900GTX in UT3
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3128&p=4

as well as a 7900GT in bioshock (nVidia's big ad doesn't scare me or my ATi)
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=8

I also picked up a CrossfireXpress 3200 if anyone wants to donate two 3870s I'll gladly inform everyone of their performance

and something I didn't see mentioned at all is.. wasn't the RV670 supposed to have FREE 4xAA?
 

badger101101

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I don't understand the ATI bashing here. Yes, ATI put out a card that does not obliterate nVidia's offerings.... however, they're price/performance curve is very competitive. Not everybody can afford the best of the best.

Clearly the 3870 does not outperform the 8800gt, but it does beat the gts and comes at a lower cost.
 

GloriosoSLB

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Blackra1n you have a very good point.

Here add this review too, and your point is perfect!

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6182806/p-5.html

To see how amazing Ati cards are, the old X800 beat the 6800.
The X1950Pro beats the 7900GS.
And the X1900XT beats the 7900GTX.
All cards from the same time.

The most impressive is the difference by 2X to 3X more frames. That’s complete destruction.
And that’s not all, the Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB is keeping up with the GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB.
One Ati generation behind keeps up with one Nvidia generation ahead.

I think we already know why Nvidia is so profitable who have bought one X800 is still fine. Who bought one 6800 already upgraded 2 times at least :)
 

Florian Charpentier

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Summarize those 5 pages in one, and tell me when you're done. We hoped this would have interested some of you, as Direct3D 10.1 support was realy underlined by AMD regarding their HD 3800 serie. We were wrong?

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.
Please quote entirely. We said "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; no, the Radeon HD 3000 does not introduce a new architecture at all, neither is it an important evolution compared to the Radeon HD 2900." We believe it is our role to determine what's marketing and what's not. Are we wrong?

"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.
We guess not.
 

hergieburbur

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This is why Tom's has been losing readership among techno-philes lately. Nobody listens to the readers and CANNOT accept constructive criticism without getting overly defensive. This is supposed to be a site geared toward technology fans, and when one of us has an opinion that doesn't match your own, you get offended instead of trying to listen.

While the Direct3D stuff was worth a mention (which COULD have been a one page summary, though that would mena less ads could be crammed in the article), correct me if I am wrong in thinking that it was NOT the focus of this article? My point was that there should have been a mention of new functionality, and if you wanted to go more in depth, it belonged in a separate article. This is supposed to be a journalistic article. Such articles are supposed to be short and focused on the topic at hand. By adding the extra pages on D3D, it becomes neither. Get offended if you want to, OR, take it as constructive criticism and try to improve your next article, the choice is yours.

Please quote entirely. We said "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; no, the Radeon HD 3000 does not introduce a new architecture at all, neither is it an important evolution compared to the Radeon HD 2900."
First off, I beg to differ with the assertion that this is not an important evolution compared to the Radeon HD 2900 series. Using your own data, the HD 3800 series uses a smaller process, is cheaper, consumes less power, and is quieter for about the same or better performance. Which of these is unimportant to the consumer? I agree that these changes may not have warranted the series number change, I thought that ATI was free to call their products whatever they want. THATS why I left that portion out.

We believe it is our role to determine what's marketing and what's not. Are we wrong?
I thought your role was to report the facts and benchmark results to your readers in a clear and concise manner and let them determine what is best for them. Am I wrong?

"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. - [your reply] - We guess not.
And THAT is why people say that your articles have been increasingly less useful lately. You seem to think that the number of slots occupied and what pretty color an item is painted is more important to technology review readers than technical differences such as clock speed and memory type. It Isn't.

I guess I will be warned or banned now for disagreeing, but oh well, it happens.
 

hergieburbur

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Here's a quick stab at limiting the Direct3D 10.1 stuff (which was only 3 pages, the other two introductory pages were somewhat relevant, but could have been more concise) to less than one page, just to show that it can be done:

Direct3D 10.1

With its new range of GPUs, the Radeon HD 3000, AMD is the first to support the next version of Direct3D: Direct3D 10.1. But what does this new revision of Microsoft's API has in store for us?

Incompatible?

When the first pieces of information on Direct3D 10.1 first leaked this summer, some websites echoed a troubling rumor; this new version would be incompatible with the previous one! However, as is often the case on the web, it all came to nothing, as Direct3D 10.1 is fully compatible with its predecessor.

Direct3D 10.1: What's New

Let's be clear right from the start; the new things brought by this new API aren't revolutionary. Direct3D 10 was a big makeover and as always with such endeavors, there are small errors. Thus Direct3D 10.1 must be seen as an incremental update, correcting, thanks to time and distance, small holes in the previous API, and bringing a few add-ons in order to erase some of the restrictions that still existed.

All the improvements may be summed up in three categories:

* Stricter specifications in order to limit discrepancies between multiple implementations
* A handful of new features, such as Cube Map Arrays, Shader Model 4.1 and Multiple Render Targets
* A clear focus on rendering quality and more precisely, antialiasing

With Direct3D 10.1, Microsoft has focused on rendering quality more than any of the other new features, so to speak. And the main focal point was antialiasing.

And Practically?

Practically, don't hope for much in the meantime. We are still waiting for developers to master Direct3D 10 and for them not to be limited by the Direct3D 9 versions of their engines that they still must upgrade, so there's little chance that they'll run towards Direct3D 10.1; the hardware is barely out and the API won't be available until Vista's Service Pack 1 in 2008.

For more detailed information, see our writeup on Directd3D 10.1.
Feel free to fire back at me, as I am sure this will offend you on some level, even though it is not meant to be so.
 

Crashman

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I'm offended that you don't think Don Woligroski or Thomas Soderstrom listens to you.
 

No1sFanboy

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Hergieburber, respectfully you're being the definition of:"you can't please everyone".

Without debating every point take just the one; an in depth explanation of dx10.1.
ATI has spun DX10.1 compatibility as a key feature point in their r600 refreshes. This has spawned a lot of discussion and misinformation in many places including these forums. For these two reasons I have to side with the author here that an in depth explanation is a key element of the 3850/70 review. If you would rather not read it why not just use the table of contents as intended and skip to what does interest you?
Seriously, people moan when the articles are short fluff pieces and now your grinding on this guy for going in depth.
 
I was at Frys this weekend.
They had the 3850's on shelf for $199.
Right next to the $399, $499, $599 8800's, (good grief I can't believe people are actually buying these things) and where the $279 8800Gt's would have been.
They said they hope to get more 8800gt's in a few weeks, but it is not for sure.
 

thepinkpanther

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well 3870 is a good buy for $220 and the 8800gt is a good for $270. But $50 extra for a extra 10 frames max? doesnt work for me. Ati might not be evil but 666 million transistors? And lastly why doesnt Ati want to compete with 8800gtx?
 

cleeve

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I have never, EVER seen anyone banned here for disagreeing with anything.

I've seen 2 people get banned here in recent memory, one for freaking and and posting pictures of gay porn, and one for throwing around terribly inaproproate insults like they were going out of style. But not once for disagreeing.

Heck, people have accused us of being shills for whatever company they don't like, and I've never seen them banned for that. Having said that, we sure as hell defend ourselves from unconstructive criticizm like that.

But constructive criticism? Bring it on. It's all good. All we ask is that you use tact and do it respectfully. When people start throwing insults in an accusatory tone, of course our backs will get up a little. We're human beings, just like everyone else.
 

bfellow

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Well it looks like almost every online retailer and local stores near me are all out of stock on 3870. The one I had ordered was put in backordered even though I ordered it while it said "in stock." That really ticks me off when they do that.
 

hergieburbur

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Cleeve, I have to disagree on that point, as I have been banned before for disagreeing with someone and asking them a question about what I disagreed with.

As for the rest, feel free to disagree with me, as thats the nature of this forum. I am just posting my opinion of how things could be better, and I encourage everyone else to post theirs as well.
 

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