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AMD Radeon HD 3800: The Empire Strikes Back

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November 15, 2007 2:49:15 PM

Review of the Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 as well as a complete roundup of mainstream cards under 9 games and 6 resolutions and let's not forget a big section dedicated to Direct3D 10.1, the new feature of the HD 3000.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/15/amd_radeon_hd_3800/index.html
November 15, 2007 2:55:10 PM

I alway imagined ati would be the good guys you know, not the evil empire :bounce: 
November 15, 2007 3:33:58 PM

Pricewise they're not bad buys....if they come out at the prices indicated in the article.

The real winner is the HD 3850, now they just need to get it on the shelf.
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November 15, 2007 4:03:17 PM

Wow, the article really could have done without the 5-6 pages worth of hyperbole and AMD hating, and just stuck to doing an actual review of the facts, rather than opinions.
November 15, 2007 4:06:27 PM

Mmmmm...review. I thought the 1-pager this morning was going to be it, but here is the 20 page reviews I love.
November 15, 2007 4:10:00 PM

I hate to be mean, but: WOWWWW WAY TOO MANY COMMAS!! Whoever wrote this article needs to take a super chill pill with the commas. They're used incorrectly and make the article hard to read.

This article is very informative, however. Great work.
November 15, 2007 4:40:24 PM

hmmm...

I wonder what 4x 3870 could do with crysis?
November 15, 2007 4:43:17 PM

coldmast said:
hmmm...

I wonder what 4x 3870 could do with crysis?


thats what I am wondering as well..
November 15, 2007 4:51:02 PM

hergieburbur said:
Wow, the article really could have done without the 5-6 pages worth of hyperbole and AMD hating, and just stuck to doing an actual review of the facts, rather than opinions.


I agree 100%. I read this article on the UK site this morning before it was posted here and each page ticked me off more. There is so much bias and hate it's ridiculous. Every time there is something that ATI did well (and they are still ATI, not AMD. Being owned doesn't change their name) you mention it twice as both a good thing and a bad thing. It's like saying "I like that you have brown hair, but... your hair is brown so i hope you rot in hell." Not to mention the commas, the "however"s, and the "clearly"s. The graphs are also very sub-par compared to usual. Having everything mashed into one diagram is awful and makes it hard to see what is what. 2 charts per benchmark is standard and it should be adhered to.

Aside from that i disagree that this isn't a big step forward. It's no a HUGE jump like we've seen a few times of late, but more of a 9700-9800 kind of step. Not every generation can add 100FPS to a game. But lets look at it this way. The MID-RANGE card is out preforming the current top model. Ergo when they release a top model based on the new process we should see something that does much better than the 2 new cards. Plus the drivers are beta. Let them get public quality drivers and we could see further increases.

You complain as though a midrange card is supposed to out-do everything in the previous generation. That's bunk. What i see is a card that is within range of the direct competition, of an equal generation, for a much lower price. ATi didn't mess up at all. Nvidia has a new gen, so do they. Both are mid range and are showing what the new midrange looks like.

The reduction in heat, noise, and power draw are great improvements. The increase in clock is good. Supporting the new DX10.1 standard is good. PCIe2.0 is good. There are a lot of great things about this card, but you are so blinded by your anger that they are taking they price/performance(bang for buck) from Nvidia that you can't see them.

Next time give us an article without all the bias, hate, negativepositivenegative comments that keep anything the card does right from coming off in a good light and get back to a normal review process.
November 15, 2007 4:55:29 PM

Ummm you're wrong the MID_RANGE card (HD3850) is not outperforming the 2900XT while the Upper Range Card (HD3870) most of the time is doing that.
a c 175 U Graphics card
November 15, 2007 5:09:58 PM

Good article. There may very well be a 3870 in my future.
November 15, 2007 5:12:33 PM

The article seemed pretty fair to me. If you read the conclusion, it all rings true and is pretty even-handed.
November 15, 2007 5:23:56 PM

Dear all,

As much as 3870 suckies compared to 8800GT, it sold out quickly on a website of an unnamed online vendor (rhymes with legg) – 2 different brands in under 25 minutes. I didn’t get to take the first screenshot, but it started off with quantities of 25 and 20 (Diamond and HIS respectively). Minute later (13:20h EST):



minute later (13:21h EST):



2 minutes later (13:23h EST):



minute later (13:24h EST):



minute later (13:25h EST):



then the unnamed vendor caught onto interest in this product and limited the quantities to 2 max:



then I got to skimming through the tom’s article on this card and before I was finished I checked the cart one more time and the 3870s were gone:



Interesting to note that not a single 3850 sold in the mean time… I wonder which is generating more excitement in the community – of course the one they plan to ship less of.

I personally have a preorder for an EVGA 8800GT from frys ($229). I placed the order on Oct 29, and it still hasn’t shipped as they haven’t heard from EVGA why their shipment didn’t come in on Nov 5th. I don’t want to let the order go because of a good price that I locked in (ZZF has an EVGA in stock for $399!!!! Talk about price gouging). After calling them now, they say they expect a shipment to come in to their warehouse on Nov 18 – this Sunday. They will ship out on Monday and I should hopefully have it by Tuesday.
All I know is that I am sick of waiting, but the situation doesn’t look like it will be a whole lot better with ATI – sending such small quantities for sale. So advice – if you are interested in one pick it up as soon as you can so that you don’t end up like me with the 8800GT…
November 15, 2007 5:34:28 PM

I'll be grabbing one of these after the holidays. I want to make sure the drivers are right before I make the purchase.
November 15, 2007 5:37:31 PM

The article was good in my opinion. Any article is not going to be perfect and I would like you to show me an article reviewing a product without any bias.

Good job, toms.
November 15, 2007 5:45:56 PM

Where are all the $230 8800GT's everyone is talking about? I haven't seen anywhere this is being sold for less than $280. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but with newegg listing the new 3870's at $220 and the 8800GT's still at $280 or more it looks like ATI's got at least some advantage over nVidia.

And, just as a few others have noticed, there seems to be an inordinate amount of ATI hate spewing from this article. Delete the first six pages and it seems to be okay.
November 15, 2007 5:52:15 PM

I suppose I didn't really see too much anti-ATI because I didn't read the first six pages. It looked boring, something or another about Direct3d.
November 15, 2007 5:57:52 PM

ATI is shipping 500,000 HD38XXs by the end of this year, Nvidia is only shipping 50,000 8800GTs.

Looks like ATI wins this holiday.
a c 102 U Graphics card
November 15, 2007 6:11:39 PM

this is good news for everyone.....lower prices for the holiday season are gonna be good :) 
November 15, 2007 6:30:00 PM

Can't beat price. 219 even 2x of these dont cost as much as a 8800gtx
November 15, 2007 6:34:18 PM

I'm amazed by the blindness and dogged brand-loyalty of ATI fanbois even in the face of undeniable performance figures.
The 8800 GT pounds the 3870 into the ground yet there are still people here saying they're going to rush out and buy a 3870.
Common sense has definately left the building.
November 15, 2007 6:38:15 PM

niz said:
I'm amazed by the blindness and dogged brand-loyalty of ATI fanbois even in the face of undeniable performance figures.
Even the 8800 GT (and the much older 2900XT) pounds the 3870 into the ground yet there are still people here saying they're going to rush out and buy a 3870.
Common sense has definately left the building.


you cant deny, though that the 3850 obliterates any other midrange option right now. and shouldnt this be called "return of the Jedi" (not because nVidia is evil, just that they were on top...)
November 15, 2007 6:53:12 PM

I'd call an 8800GT midrange at the pricing it has. Its only $40 more than the 3850. Sounds like the extra is well worth it to me.
November 15, 2007 6:53:17 PM

Nvidia is evil, they didn't give intel SLI license and they cheat on drivers.
November 15, 2007 6:54:50 PM

Yes they did. Skulltrail supports SLI.
Also I'm not clear why you beleive nVvidia cheat on drivers and ATI dont. Check your history.
November 15, 2007 6:55:12 PM

3870 can't even outperform the 2900XT by much and sometimes not at all :lol: 

November 15, 2007 7:19:38 PM

niz said:
I'm amazed by the blindness and dogged brand-loyalty of ATI fanbois even in the face of undeniable performance figures.
The 8800 GT pounds the 3870 into the ground yet there are still people here saying they're going to rush out and buy a 3870.

You just proved your blind and dogged brand loyalty :) 

niz said:

Common sense has definately left the building.

Yes it did... Wont point finger to whom ;) 
November 15, 2007 7:28:26 PM

Wow. Fanboys of all shapes and sizes coming out of the woodwork today. Everyone wants to claim pwnage... :D 


From a reasonable human being's standpoint, I think the 3870 and 3850 look to be pretty decent buys for the dollar. Is the 8800 GT better? Sure it is, but it's more expensive and, at this time, impossible to find.

As long as there's a decent price spread, I think the 3870's will do well. If the 8800 GT's arrive in force and price match the 3870, the 3870's will have a very rough time.

I'm interested in seeing Nvidia's 8800 GT 256mb answer to the 3850 though, and once again, finding out if there will be enough on the market to make a dent over christmas.



On a side note, this article was probably originally written in French. All the commas might be an artifact of translation.

November 15, 2007 7:48:39 PM

Well, for now ATI has the best price/performance cards, till 8800GT 512mb demand is satisfy and the other G92 cards appear and show what they have to offer.
November 15, 2007 8:19:41 PM

perchance slightly off-topic, but I have one sleigt problem with the 38XX's (and the 8800GT's to) - The extra 6pin connector.

These new ATI cards are clearly THE choice fot htpc owners like myself (ati consistently wins the video playback - though an 8800GT would definately do as well), but my shuttle power supply doesn't offer an 6pin connector.

Is there an simple answer like an molex/sata to pci connector???

November 15, 2007 8:30:07 PM

I believe the 6-pin connectors will accept the standard PCIe 4-pin connectors, as well.
November 15, 2007 8:41:24 PM

Why all the claims of Nvidia bias in the review? I came out of the 20 pages thinking these are a solid recommendation. If anything the absence of dx10 testing yielded a better result for the 3800's.

Most people I know deal in a $200.00 window for a gpu and the 3850 would be where I would point them, of course followed up by some OCing.

Anyhow, why does everyone, feel the need, to be, so critical?
.
.
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Actually the commas can be fun, if you clench your hands out in front of you as read them you could be doing a Shatner.
November 15, 2007 8:41:45 PM

cleeve, problem is, I'm blessed with neither,,

NO1sFanboy... doing a Shatner - Hilarious :lol: 


Nevermind - just saw powercooler sells one with a molex to pci cable... I'll get one!
November 15, 2007 9:25:42 PM

Wow, the writing in that article, is, mind, bogglingly, bad and, totally, incomprehensible. I used to have a lot of respect for Tom's, but anandtech does a much better job and I don't have to reread sentences 3-4 times to decipher their meaning. I'm still trying to figure out this one:

"It should be noted that the Radeon HD 3870 places below the HD 2900 XT when there are only 3 games in which is this actually the case, but they are (TDU, UT3 and Call of Duty 4) those with a high number of frames per second and thus more weight ."

wow, just wow.
November 15, 2007 9:43:07 PM

niz said:
I'm amazed by the blindness and dogged brand-loyalty of ATI fanbois even in the face of undeniable performance figures.
The 8800 GT pounds the 3870 into the ground yet there are still people here saying they're going to rush out and buy a 3870.
Common sense has definately left the building.
I've purchased several cards from both ATI (original RadeonAIW, 9600AIW, 9600pro, x800xlAIW, hd2600xt, and 1950xt) and nVidia (Ti4200, 6800, 7800gt, 8800GTS) so I'm clearly not a fanboy myself. That said you are 100% on the money. ATI heads, shut up already! Your brand has been trailing nVidia since the original 8800s came out. The reviews are fine, suck it up and admit that the new ATI/AMD cards are disappointing compared to the 8800GT.
November 15, 2007 10:08:19 PM

lakedude said:
I've purchased several cards from both ATI (original RadeonAIW, 9600AIW, 9600pro, x800xlAIW, hd2600xt, and 1950xt) and nVidia (Ti4200, 6800, 7800gt, 8800GTS) so I'm clearly not a fanboy myself. That said you are 100% on the money. ATI heads, shut up already! Your brand has been trailing nVidia since the original 8800s came out. The reviews are fine, suck it up and admit that the new ATI/AMD cards are disappointing compared to the 8800GT.



When did the world decide to leave it up to you to decide if some thing was disappointing or not......I think the cards did quite well. The prices are even better. I am not sure where this nonsense you are spewing is coming from or why you bother to be such a drama queen about it.....

Let's see you owned a Ti4200 and then jumped to a 6800.....? What happened to that 5900 GPU you were going to pick up??????????? I thought so............ :D 
November 15, 2007 10:13:58 PM

its almost like some super power came out and said "ATi you will make your 3870 exactly 15% slower than the 8800gt on all the games"

there is no erratic behavior you would otherwise see between two totally different breeds.

how does the 3870 be slower on all tests, something fishy is going on
November 15, 2007 10:18:14 PM

I don't know, about being a fan boy for either company. All that I can say, is that clearly the HD 3870 offers decent performance figures at a exceptional price. I can't argue the evidence that the 8800 GT is superior performance wise, but at roughly $60 more per card, and the fact that they're so scarce, I would probably give the HD 3870 a try.
November 15, 2007 10:18:55 PM

spoonboy said:
I alway imagined ati would be the good guys you know, not the evil empire :bounce: 


Hehe they renamed the article.
November 15, 2007 10:27:57 PM

ikkeman said:
perchance slightly off-topic, but I have one sleigt problem with the 38XX's (and the 8800GT's to) - The extra 6pin connector.

These new ATI cards are clearly THE choice fot htpc owners like myself (ati consistently wins the video playback - though an 8800GT would definately do as well), but my shuttle power supply doesn't offer an 6pin connector.

Is there an simple answer like an molex/sata to pci connector???

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...
November 15, 2007 10:38:52 PM

caamsa said:
When did the world decide to leave it up to you to decide if some thing was disappointing or not......I think the cards did quite well. The prices are even better. I am not sure where this nonsense you are spewing is coming from or why you bother to be such a drama queen about it.....
My "nonsense" is in response to the whining about how anti-ATI Tom's review is. I found the review to be balanced and truthful, if perhaps not exceptionally well written. Since the 8800GT's are pretty much sold out ATI has a chance to sell some cards, good for them. If I needed a card in the $150-200 range right now I might be tempted by ATI's new offering. I'm not a fanboy you see. Personally I'm not in the market at all having picked up a 8800GTS not long ago. If it were me I'd be tempted to wait for the 8800GT to come back into stock instead of settling for an ATI card right now. If cost were an issue I might wait for the half ram version of the 8800GT.
Quote:

Let's see you owned a Ti4200 and then jumped to a 6800.....? What happened to that 5900 GPU you were going to pick up??????????? I thought so............ :D 
We both know the 5xxx series nVidia cards sucked. If you paid attention you will see I've actually purchased half again as many ATI cards as nVidia cards. I love ATI for home theater.

Of course my new hd2600xt sucks at Theater so I'm not well pleased with ATI right now. For years ATI cards could do full screen on one display and widowed mode on another. I bought the 2600 just for theater assuming it would work like the 9600, x800, and 1950, but it does not. There are boxes to check but they don't work. I guess this is a "known issue" with no current solution.
November 15, 2007 10:44:59 PM

HD3850 to me seems like a great option. Good performance at low resolution and not a big hole in the wallet. Perfect. Still hesitant to purchase though...the last ATI product was, well, not so good. We shall see.
November 15, 2007 10:47:01 PM

niz said:
I'd call an 8800GT midrange at the pricing it has. Its only $40 more than the 3850. Sounds like the extra is well worth it to me.



Who the heck are you kidding??? 3850=$180; 8800gt=$280. Difference=$100. Brush up on your math there buddy, cause I am pretty sure you failed 4th grade math...

Edit: Did you mean 3870 and not 8800gt? Cause then what you said is very true.
November 15, 2007 11:05:19 PM

DAAAAMN!
November 15, 2007 11:06:22 PM

Sapphire 3870 in stock at new egg this very moment for $219. I just ordered mine! Upgrading from a 7800gt that is struggling with native resolution of my monitor (1280by1024). By the way, I was signed up for auto notify but never received my message for this card. I just so happened to check back "just to make sure".

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102713


Yes, I am spreading the news to help my fellow gaming community out. You may see me post this in a couple of different threads.
!