For what its worth, PowerColor is releasing a 3850 Extreme with slightly higher clocks over the standard 3850 and 512MB of memory. The only difference between the 3870 and 3850 is the RAM and clock speeds. The 3850 uses either 256MB or 512MB (for extreme version) of GDDR3. Whereas the 3870 uses 512 MB of GDDR4. The ddr4 overclocks much better than the ddr3.
The extreme has not been officially released yet and the MSRP is $20 more than the standard 3850
Based solely on benchmarks the 8800GT pretty much wins so if FPS at 1920x1080 is what you care about then go with the 8800gt. I just orders the 8800gt, but my decision was mainly based which one I could get first at MSRP. Both cards have +/-'s that go with them.
Yea .... but the 8800's graphics quality is far below the ATI 3870's ... plus what they call nvidia bleed .... inpure output .... do you really wanta sacrafice pure natural video for a few frame rates ? It's a toss up ... changing settings on different monitors and system setups will achieve different results . Turn down the effects a hair on 3870's and gain fps .... turn up effects on 8800's and lose fps .... are the prospects of not having to tune worth the extra $50.00 for 8800's ? Plus nvidia for some reason " HAVE " to be overclocked to the max from the factory to achieve good benchies ! The ati's are not ! You still have headroom for overclocking then see what ya can get . Plus .... yes the nvidia's have an inferior cooling system .... running hotter ... I don't go by what TH puts up anymore so darn slanted for AMD cpus and nvidia graphics cards . We test our own here ... for some reason in real life tests on common systems ours " tests " don't come out like some of these sites ..... probably because we have to buy ours and don't get them for free and have to kiss butt !