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ATI HD 3870 Review - Not so goood....

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 14, 2007 9:25:53 PM

The review pits the 3870 in a head to head matchup with the 8800 GT - guess who wins.. ah crap

Quoted from the review at Legion Hardware:

"Well there you have it, another disappointing release from AMD/ATI. Although they have managed to undercut Nvidia by reducing the cost of the Radeon HD 3870 by around 12% when compared to the GeForce 8800 GT, we found that on average it was 22% slower. So then in terms of value the GeForce 8800 GT looks to preserve its position as the best value high-end graphics card ever released. The GeForce 8800 GT has proven to be a strong performer, as has the entire GeForce 8800 series ever since it was first introduced over a year ago now." :??: 

Here is the link:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=703&p=0

More about : ati 3870 review goood

November 14, 2007 9:34:59 PM

This is so disappointing a result. I really held out hope for this card.
Related resources
November 14, 2007 9:45:39 PM

itotallybelieveyou said:
Third time today... BAD DRIVERS

Maybe, maybe not. The ugly part is, once AMD gets the driver fixed and closes in on the competition, said competition releases something better, faster, cheaper.
November 14, 2007 10:09:19 PM

The real deal I want to see is the quadfire vs. tri-SLI.For the folks who wants just the one card,its a toss up between the 8800gt and the 3870.The gt is good for right now,but I do believe the 3870 will be faster with a few mature drivers.However for the people how want more than just one card or thinking about a GTX or GTX SLI.I want to see if AMD mate the 256 bus's to form x4 bandwith or smoething really crazy.They have been hyping the spider platform and thats what I want to see.
November 14, 2007 10:53:14 PM

why couldnt the stupid 3870 outperform the 8800gt? bastards cant learn to write drivers.
i know people who have worked at ATi and they tell me that they dont treat employees well, not surprising why the drivers are ALWAYS bad. I'm primarily a Linux user, and windows is nothing more than a game console to me, having said this, ATi doesnt even acknowledge linux exists. there excuse for linux drivers are so bad, that people on linux use other 3rd party open source drivers instead.

nvidia is the most deceitful company i've seen (2nd is Creative), with all this under cutting quality to hit fps, but they can really write DAMN GOOD DRIVERS. On every platform too.

i'm so lost in the middle of all this at the moment. ughh i was like 2 clicks away from buying 2x 8800gt's and then change my mind.

if your reading this ATi, give us a card that out does the 8800gt by 25% for 25% less.
and if your reading this Nvidia, stop fuking hot wiring your drivers to produce higher frame rates
November 14, 2007 11:32:54 PM

Cruise, you know what they say, "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

You can always buy a Matrix video card.
November 14, 2007 11:38:19 PM

San Pedro said:

"damned if you do, damned if you don't".


only heard that from House
November 15, 2007 12:25:01 AM

What this really boils down to is ATi basically charging you a premium up-front, and improving performance later with drivers. On the other hand, with the notable exception of Vista drivers, Nvidia's almost always has solid, reliable performance out of the gate, and lesser, incremental improvements in later driver releases. This fact is what makes me hesitant about purchasing any ATi products. I think they should be coming out with better drivers AT RELEASE, instead of 5-7 months later. 'Cause if big N can do it, there's no reason that they (ATi) can't, except being lazy and/or stupid.
November 15, 2007 2:56:45 AM

Blazingcatfur said:
"Although they have managed to undercut Nvidia by reducing the cost of the Radeon HD 3870 by around 12% when compared to the GeForce 8800 GT, we found that on average it was 22% slower."


I just want to have Legion show me where these GT cards are that are only 12% more than their expected $240 for the HD3870?

The link on their page to the $269.99 Amazon GT says "This card not yet available", their next price is over $300.
Which make it a 25+% price premium for 22% performance.
So it seems well priced for now, until the GT comes down in price.
November 15, 2007 3:24:20 AM

Realize that theres a flip flop of sorts here as well. The 880gt is HOT running. Limits the OC potential. Of course you CAN put a after market cooler on it, tho thats just MORE money. Itll be interesting to see an optimised driver for this card. Oh, the 8800gt is LOUD too
November 15, 2007 3:48:54 AM

Isn't cat 7.11 due out soon, it's half way through november already?
November 15, 2007 4:15:56 AM

Usually more towards the end of month. Maybe itll coincide with the 38xx release?
November 15, 2007 8:27:34 AM

This is a CONTINUOUS retarded move from ATI, which as a business owner p!$$3$ me off.

AMD: "So here's what we do. Make a competitive gfx card, but rush it to market before we sort the drivers out. Then... once news has filtered down that its slower than the competition, and generally has a bad name, we can release the best drivers making the card truly competitive!"

U are a fkn GENIUS Hector!

Not even animals are such dumf*ks!
If ur dog jumps on ur couch and u belt it, it only does it 2-3 times, then it goes "hmmm i go there i get pain, so lets not go there"

I was thinking of AMD's fab process last night. Its like renting vs buying a house. Sure if u rent ur ahead for awhile. Once u get a mortgage down a little its great. Rent just goes up and up.

Guess whos renting.
November 15, 2007 8:50:18 AM

mrmez said:

I was thinking of AMD's fab process last night. Its like renting vs buying a house. Sure if u rent ur ahead for awhile. Once u get a mortgage down a little its great. Rent just goes up and up.

Guess whos renting.

uhhh...AMD has their own fabs for producing their cpu's, i think ATI does/did have their own fab at one time...i could be wrong.. BUT how many smart people do you see buy a new house when their facing bankruptcy if they dont stop bleeding hundreds of millions of $$?.
i do kind of agree with you tho to see the balance sheet even out would take many a year you know building a fab, buying equipment,hiring employees, re fitting equipment etc.
AMD needs short term solutions to their money crisis way more then something that would take many years to yield a decent return for them. Then again why not just pay them money to make it then AMD/ATI dont have to worry about a whole heap of things other then is it going to be on time? IMHO
November 15, 2007 9:19:25 AM

Just throwing in my own 2 cents I guess, but I am finding it hard to believe such sweeping differences between reviewers of these new cards. Case in point:

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34861/118/

Seems nothing but praise from TG here. And the previous review calls these new cards another huge AMD dissapointment. Personally I think all these people who are so eager to get benchies out, are making some critical errors which are fudging numbers.

Just my 2 cents.
November 15, 2007 10:12:03 AM

Wait till the 8800GT's start failing because NVIDIA clocked them way past sane ... to rain on ATI's parade.

Wait till some of the overmarket cooling systems start getting bolted on RV670 ... since it is on a cooler running process I'd imagine it should overclock well.

The TGDaily benchies were obviously put together quickly.

Lets see what the overclocker community can do with it first.

I never run any card I have stock ... except the 7900GT I bought once ... couldn't overclock that 10 Meg.

Bet the 8800GT is in the same boat as the RV600's - too hot for single slot cooling like the RV600 was too hot for Satan.

Don't get me wrong ... I like NVIDIA cards ... a move from 7 series to ATI or 8 series NV cards is something I am still chewing over.

Thoughts anyone?

November 15, 2007 11:52:45 AM

Ok. So I have read and skimmed alot of the posted reviews on these 2 cards and personally came up with a few conclusions.... Fell free to chime in and set me straight as well:

1. The 3850 and 3870 should be spaced further apart in performance. One rocks the mid range the other doesnt do to well in the higher classes.
2. The 3870 is lacking against the 8800GT with a new 8800GTS around the corner
3. The 3850 is by far the clear winner in the mid-range going against the 8600gts and 2600XT. It rocks the hot totty. 2 in crossfire run with a GTX.
4. The Benches are all over the place because of the following reason. The Reviews are using 3 OS's WinXP, Vista 32bit, and Vista 64 bit. All of which are possible currently on a PC. In XP and DX9 the 3870 doesnt look to bad and runs with the 8800gt. However in Vista 64bit (which is what I am going to next once I get a new card eventually) It doesnt touch the 8800GT.
5. Power consumption is great at Idle, its VERY low. But hovers around the 8800GT (3870 that is) at load probably because of higher clocks.
6. ATI can make a mean midrange card, but their highend cards are just beefed up midrange cards that Pi$$ me off. My x1900xtx was the last GOOD highend card they made.

Ohh!! and we all know ATI has issues with their drivers, but I am not going to buy a card under the assumption that they are going to correct this. Personally I am going to wait and see what nVidia does next. Since we know ATI's next move is a dual GPU card, which basically means they aren't fixing the problem that they lack performance on the high end so they just stick 2 together. Sorta like the AMD 4x4 crap. Sorry I'm venting, I had high hopes for the 3870. I like my x1900xtx and wanted the same experience with another ATI card. I have a 975x board so i could do crossfire if need be, but i really was hoping not to go nVidia. Oh well.

I do like the 3850 though, If I was in the market for a midrange card I'd be all over this thing. But I have a widescreen and like my eye candy way to much. But eye candy has to be within my budget as well.
November 15, 2007 12:29:27 PM

I'm confused; how are the drivers so bad when this card is essentially the HD 2900 series on a die shrink? I mean, they "implemented" Direct X10.1, but the HD 2900 series already had support for tessellation, and shader based antialiasing.
November 15, 2007 12:33:21 PM

"Historically, AMD's RV series has been a cost cut version of their R series designed for lower end volume parts, and that's where RV670 started. Right of the bat, half the external and internal memory bandwidth of R600 was cut out. External bandwidth dropped from 512-bit to 256-bit, but AMD stuck with 8 memory channels (each dropped from 64bit to 32bit).

Internally, the ring bus dropped from 1024-bit to 512-bit. This cut in bandwidth contributed to a significant drop in transistor count from R600's ~720M. RV670 is made up of 666M transistors, and this includes the addition of UVD hardware, some power saving features, the necessary additions for DX 10.1 and the normal performance tuning we would expect from another iteration of the architecture. "

"Equivalent performance per clock to the ATI Radeon HD 2900


WHY ATI? WHY? don't you think they would unlock these to kill the 8800gt? :pfff:  So it really is just an HD2900 that runs cooler and clocked higher on a smaller chip.. Oh wait they added one more cherry onto the cupcake, DX10.1 and UVD (nice but performance would be nice to)

ATI made me sad today :( 
November 15, 2007 2:04:58 PM

I say that with driver improvements we will see the gap close to maybe ~10% less than the 8800GT and at a slightly lower price, noise level, power consumption and more features overall with better HD playback...I will probably buy a 3870 for X-mas time, especially if the 8800gt stock is still low and price is slightly higher...I dont think its really worth waiting they are so close anyways and AMD needs the money! Just my two cents.

Best,

3Ball
November 15, 2007 2:05:37 PM

I am not a fanboy of any sort. I owned an AMD Athlon XP3200+ before my core2. I got the Core2 because it was the best at the time. I got the x1900xtx at the time because it was one of the best. I was just stating what I have noticed. I was really hoping to go ATI for my graphics card but guess not.

AMD may be in several markets, but why has their acquisition of ATI caused their aggressiveness in the graphics area to decrease? ATI used to be amazing and kept up with nVidia for the longest time and were always back and forth. It seems since DX10 cards started showing up and AMD has ATI now, they are slipping on the high end. If the 3800's are just 55nm HD2900's then obviously the 3850 is just a chopped down remodeled 2900, no wonder it rocks. It's a good move on that end, but they need to be at least somewhat aggressive towards nVidia on the top end. If they aren't then do not advertise has high end graphics and stick to what you are good at.

Maybe im just venting as well, I was hoping for some competition.
November 15, 2007 2:32:39 PM

Hey I started a thread with this review at legion hardware yesterday! Stop hijacking you cheeky monkey :( 

Legion hardware's review isnt the best, the loomiest of them all. Well, actually tweaktown, Tg daily and toms are pretty upbeat and positive.
November 15, 2007 2:38:59 PM

I just ordered the 3870.

The 3870 is essentially just a 55nm die shrink of the 2900XT with some other minor detailing. I doubt drivers will greatly change the frame rate performance though it will help.

It consumes 33% less power at load and 40% less when idling than the 2900XT.
It has 6-10% better performance than 2900XT.
It also costs about 30% less than 2900 XT.

So basically the 2900XT is officially crap and the 3870 should have been the card AMD should released months ago.
November 15, 2007 3:15:56 PM

mrmez said:

I was thinking of AMD's fab process last night. Its like renting vs buying a house. Sure if u rent ur ahead for awhile. Once u get a mortgage down a little its great. Rent just goes up and up.

Guess whos renting.


nVidia's renting.
AMD does both.

So what's Your Point? :heink: 

Also, regdarding the drivers, the GFF8800 came out with mediocre-crap drivers and they improved significantly from where we originally questioned the performance of the GTS over an X1950XT to where they are now clearly ahead with two driver updates boosting perfomrance by 10-20%.

Every truly new generation comes out with mediocre driver support unless it's only a tiny change from the previous version. I haven't heard of any major driver issues with the HD38xx other than it being recognized as an RV630 which may or may not affect performance.

Considering we're talking about driver quality, how does the beta issues, and then subsequent WHQL release issues not have equal weight for the GF8800GT?

Personally I think both have issues, but even as it stands now, both are good cards within their roles regadless of drivers.
November 15, 2007 3:22:36 PM

bfellow said:

So basically the 2900XT is officially crap and the 3870 should have been the card AMD should released months ago.

I completely agree. And if it would have rolled out when the 2900XT did it would have been a top selling card at the time. But it is not competting against the 8800gt and whatever else nVidia rolls out.


As far as the benches I've seen. I'd really like to see them layed out better and more of them with clean comparisons on the OS and AA. Because it seems some cards are better in some scenerio's than others.

I'm now leaning toward waiting until after xmas for a card.
November 15, 2007 3:29:39 PM

Wow. Alot of doomsdayers out there.

To me, the 3850 looks like a real winner (until the 256mb 8800 GT arrives at least), and the 3870 looks like it's in a real good position to move a lot of units over the holidays. Yes, it's not quite as good as the 8800 GT, but there are two other important factors: it's cheaper, and it looks like there will be enough on the market to actually BUY one at MSRP...

The 8800 GT is an awesome card, but if it's so rare that the vendors charge $300 for it because they can't get them in quantity, the MSRP is irrelevant.

Really, it's too early to call doom & gloom for anybody until we see two things: how availability of the 8800 GT progresses over the next couple months, and how availability the 8800 GT 256mb card turns out...
November 15, 2007 3:57:28 PM

jay2tall said:

1. The 3850 and 3870 should be spaced further apart in performance. One rocks the mid range the other doesnt do to well in the higher classes.
2. The 3870 is lacking against the 8800GT with a new 8800GTS around the corner
4. The Benches are all over the place because of the following reason. The Reviews are using 3 OS's WinXP, Vista 32bit, and Vista 64 bit. All of which are possible currently on a PC. In XP and DX9 the 3870 doesnt look to bad and runs with the 8800gt. However in Vista 64bit (which is what I am going to next once I get a new card eventually) It doesnt touch the 8800GT.
5. Power consumption is great at Idle, its VERY low. But hovers around the 8800GT (3870 that is) at load probably because of higher clocks.
6. ATI can make a mean midrange card, but their highend cards are just beefed up midrange cards that Pi$$ me off. My x1900xtx was the last GOOD highend card they made.


1) They are both Mid Range.
2) Where are the GF8800GT cards that you even tink a GF8800GTS is around the corner? Also how does that GF8800GTS do against a dual-core R680?
4) The benchies are all over the place, but it's early, and also even the HD2900 vs GF8800 benchies were already all over the place it's not like anyone expected the HD3800 to be any more consistent either way. As for Vista64, I wouldn't worry about it for a while issues a plenty for both IHVs in that respect.
5) Sofar the only reviews that show the HD3870 as being anywhere near the GF8800GT in power consumption are the anomalies rather than the norm. Either way I'll wait for the real test when people like Xbit measure the draw of the actual card, not the entire system.
6) Once again these ARE midrange cards, not high-end. there's only been one high end since the X1900 and that's the HD2900 (unless you count the X1950), remember the HD3800 is a Mid Range and always was meant to be RV670, not high end.

As for the drivers, what is the major issue with the drivers? Is it the same as or worse than the render bugs in the GF8800GT, SLi in Vista 64? Both companies have major driver issues, and if it's that it takes a while for better performance, same thing happened with the GF8800 series with two 10-20% updates.

Also, if you have a problem with multi-chip/core solutions, then you're in for a problem in the future as all 3 of the companies are going in that direction.
November 15, 2007 4:14:46 PM

Ok so Newegg has them in.

$180 for 3850
$220 for 3870

I LIKE THAT PRICE.... I think they did good by pricing them low. They are less powerful than the 8800gt and are priced less to compensate. GOOD DEAL.
November 15, 2007 4:26:53 PM

jay2tall said:
I completely agree. And if it would have rolled out when the 2900XT did it would have been a top selling card at the time. But it is not competting against the 8800gt and whatever else nVidia rolls out.


As far as the benches I've seen. I'd really like to see them layed out better and more of them with clean comparisons on the OS and AA. Because it seems some cards are better in some scenerio's than others.

I'm now leaning toward waiting until after xmas for a card.


I completely agree with waiting till after Xmas for upgrading. Both companys will have plenty of stock out by then and who knows.. might have some price drops and new products to go with it like the rumored G92 based 8800gts.
November 15, 2007 4:46:23 PM

marike said:
I completely agree with waiting till after Xmas for upgrading. Both companys will have plenty of stock out by then and who knows.. might have some price drops and new products to go with it like the rumored G92 based 8800gts.

Exactly. It will also give time for the G92 8800GTS to come out (supposedly Dec 3rd). We will see if the ATI cards kick off, especially since the 8800GT stock is depleted and you can't find one anywhere reputable that I would buy from. If they 8800GT is restocked, will the price come down to compete? How will the new 8800GTS perform. Prices might float high because of the holiday's and people put stuff on Xmas lists. I want to wait and see and get the best Performance/Price deal after it settles a bit. Cutting Edge costs to much.
November 15, 2007 4:52:28 PM

And there I was, hoping that the 3870 would be markedly better than the 2900, but it just seems to tie it for performance. Yes, its price is such that I could probably buy two for the price of one and that's great. I was thinking about buying a 2900 with the 1 gig of DDR4 memory and I haven't seen a comparison of this card with the 3870 yet. Probably won't either. Of course there is the 8800 GT, but that card seems rare at the moment.

Right now, I think I'll hold off and see how the new model 8800 GTS does, if it comes soon enough. I got some time to wait for it, but at the moment, nothing of the new stuff stirs my soul, and credit card for that matter.
November 15, 2007 5:40:06 PM

Rumor has it the new GTS is due December 3rd.
November 15, 2007 6:03:17 PM

jay2tall said:
Rumor has it the new GTS is due December 3rd.


Less then three weeks away? I can hold off for that length of time. Just hope the availability is better than that of the 8800GTs.
November 16, 2007 2:13:58 AM

AMD's ATI Hits a Home Run with 3800 Series

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQxOSwx...

Sounds like Tom's HArdware Reviewers( not Tom's anymore he sold it remember ) needs to get their heads out of their asses !!

Card is tested from Crysis to Tim Shift and UT3 against the Nvidia 8800GT

The Bottom Line

For the first time this year we can recommend AMD ATI graphics cards for gaming. We highly recommend the ATI Radeon HD 3850 for gaming under $200. With the average price of a GeForce 8800 GT currently at $293 and stock hard to find, the Radeon HD 3870 represents a healthy $70 savings while providing the best gaming experience at the $219 price point. Both the HD 3850 and HD 3870 represent the best gaming experience at their suggested retail prices. ATI has assured us that MSRP priced cards will be available and are classifying this as a “hard launch.”
November 16, 2007 2:31:10 AM

NCIX.com (I believe their US site is NCIXUS.com has the second edition in stock of the GTS and has for some time.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26825&vpn=64...
Review here
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

While I'm not sure what build of the RC drivers tomshardware used, I'm pretty sure this canadian reviewer used RC2 and got a bit better performance. Till the drivers are out of beta, it really doesn't matter what the cards scores, but who releases a card on beta drivers, like seriously.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

James
November 16, 2007 3:04:10 AM

i swore i'd buy no more ATI cards until their response to reported bugs improved dramatically, but for the price the 3870 can be a trash-can-toss in a couple of months if the drivers don't improve quickly. or, maybe not since i don't play games on my computers.

now i just have to deal with the buyer's remorse in the morning when i wake up and realize i just spent $1202.96 on a refresh that includes no drives, no monitor/kb/mouse, no case, no replacement TV tuner functionality, no sound card (Creative, too, lost my business this year due to failure to update drivers) and no OS:

MB: GA-X38-DQ6
CPU: Q6600
VID: HD3870
PS: RX750-D-B
HSF: Thermalright HR-01 Plus, plus a fan
PATA: SIIG SCPE4B12S4 (needed for 4 extra spindles)
RAM: Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5D
Thermal Spooge: Shin-Etsu X23-7762
lapping supplies

especially coupled with the fact that i don't overclock. Looks like i plan to this time though.

it's gonna be a long week waiting for it all to arrive...*bleh*.
!