HD 3850 vs. HD 3870

I am currently in the position to buy a new gaming rig. I simply don't have the money to buy a 8800GT and the 8600's are garbage. The HD 3850 and HD 3870 both are my options. I don't really want to shell out the extra money for a HD 3870 or wait for new stock, but I have until next week because that is when AMD's new CPU's come out and I would like to make a Thanksgiving build.

The question is; is the 3870 really worth the extra money in performance?
Will the 512mb or memory make a difference over the 256mb as far as the ability to play future games?

I play BF2142, ET:QW, COD4, TimeShift and will get Crysis.
For reference I play on 1280 by 1024.

Also, what company to buy from Sapphire, Diamond, HIS, Power Color etc.
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  1. There's still an HIS 3870 at Newegg for $219 if you hurry...and HIS is a reliable brand.

    I would recommend against MSI, but the others should be fine...Power Color and Sapphire in my experience are really reliable, but the others are reputable too.
  2. I would buy from Sapphire or HIS both are excellent. For 1280 1024 it dosent matter if you get both 3850 or 3870 but the 3870 is much better. It overclocks very well. More than the 3850.
    Heres a well done review very accurately showing both cards from sapphire.
    I would get the 3870 becuase of the OC potential that makes it faster than the 8800GT.
    For crysis you need every bit of ram you can get. And power.
  3. That was what I was thinking about the memory. Unfortunately I just checked newegg and they are out.
    Sweet thread.
  4. Get the 3870 I've seen some benchmarks that showed it doing significantly better especially if you're going to get crysis.
  5. I agree, thanks ever1, I will buy a HD 3870 as soon as newegg gets them back in stock!
  6. re: the egg's 3870s: don't assume that they are out of stock for any length of time. this afternoon the page went back & forth at least 10 times from "out of stock" to "available". At least five times it disappeared from my cart with the note "unavailable" while i was in the ordering process, only to get one - supposedly - before it was all over with. there was also a lack of coherency between the status as shown on the summary page, the order page, and the shopping chart.

    I thought at first that their cart might "reserve" chosen items, but when mine was snatched from my cart repeatedly, i surmised that wasn't the case.
  7. Don't be soo quick to rule out the 3850 people! At 180 bucks this card is not bad at all, considering (according to toms review) it has much more overclock headroom then the 3870. As long as you don't play Crysis in super high resolutions you will be able to run it decent enough.

    If you are willing to spend more for a 3870, then you should spend a little bit more yet and get a 8800GT and overclock it =)

    But if you really can't find a 8800GT (for a reasonable price) and need something NOW, and plan to play in high resolutions in Crysis and games to come.... 3870 it is!
  8. nvidias donwfall

    no competition for the hd38xx series and short supply of the 8800gt...
  9. Yeah that very well might turn up to be the case!
    NV has the atomic bombs in this war! But just not nearly enough of them =\
  10. get a 3850 with 512mb, i think galaxy have one out, or will have one out. If you get a 512mb model of a 3850, stick an aftermarket cooler on it, you can oc beyond 3870 speeds, and have a cheaper cooler runing card to boot.

    if you game at or under 1600x1200 id go 3850, but 3870 would be a little more future proof.
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