What should we think of this Radeon HD 3870? First of all, AMD has reached its goal, taking back the crown for the most powerful graphics card. After all, it had been more than a year (since the launch of the 8800 GTX) since it was lost.
However, looking a little closer, the situation isn’t the best; to get to this, the manufacturer has used the old technique of pairing two mainstream GPUs on a single card using its existing technology: CrossFire. This design carries many consequences. First and foremost, there are random performance issues; in the rare event when games haven’t been profiled or can’t take full advantage of the spread computational power, performance is low and often inferior to those of the GeForce 8800 Ultra. Other consequences include a few early bugs related to CrossFire and a lower efficiency (the HD 3870 is only outperformed by 41% on average) resulting in a perfectible performance-power consumption ratio.
Even on the level of pure performance, the situation isn’t exceptional: the 8800 Ultra, a card available for 8 months now, is only outperformed by 7% (in 1920 * 1200), the gap being tiny in the other resolutions or even going to the advantage of the 8800 Ultra. Compared to AMD’s older high end, the Radeon HD 2900 XT, performances are increasing by only 42%.
However, at €400, the situation is still favorable to the HD 3870 X2. Expected in stores today, the 8800 Ultra can’t be found for less than €550 . The only thing is that this situation could be a short lived one. NVIDIA only needs to offer its own dual GPU card based on two G92s (which are more powerful than a R670 when considering actual clocks) to overshadow AMD on performance. However, we aren’t there yet and we should highlight the fact that this card’s life seems longer than the 7950 GX2, given its DirectX 10.1 support.
AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2
The fastest card today, once again, carries the AMD signature, after a long domination by NVIDIA. Based on two RV670, the HD 3870 X2 suffers, however, in part from its conception and isn’t as thrilling as a new chip, like a real R680, would have been.
The most powerful 3D Card
DirectX 10.1 support and possibility to add another card
UVD Inside (Avivo HD)
High noise and power consumption at peak
Small difference compared to a 8800 Ultra
Few bugs a holes in performances due to the internal CrossFire
- Origins (Continued)
- Radeon HD 3870 X2
- Specifications, bugs, drivers and the review
- Test Drive Unlimited
- Supreme Commander
- Age of Empires 3
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Word In Conflict
- Unreal Tournament 3
- Call of Duty 4
- And on an 30” (2560*1600)?
- Power Consumption, temperature
- Noise, overclocking
- Performances Roundup