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Which card should I buy for gaming? 256MB 8800GT or 512MB HD3850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Which card should I buy? (1440x900 Resolution)

Total: 18 votes (8 blank votes)

  • Nvidia 256Mb 8800GT is better for gaming
  • 40 %
  • Ati 512Mb HD3850 is better for gaming
  • 60 %
December 8, 2007 5:11:02 PM

I can't decide between the XFX 8800GT 256MB XXX edition($210) or the Saphire HD3850 512MB($200). It would be on a resolution of 1440x900 with an AMD 5200+ and 2GB of DDR2 800 Ram. I would play games like Orange Box, CSS, Crysis, COD4, Bioshock, 2142, Oblivion, ProStreet, etc.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2007 5:19:20 PM

I can't vote. You are not specific enough. What games, what resolution, fsaa or not? Neither card completely dominates the other. And as far as I know there isn't a review that contains both cards.

Even the 256MB HD3850 manages to match/beat the 256MB 8800GT at times. The 256MB GT falls way behind the 512MB GT as res goes up, so I would probably opt for a 512MB HD 3850 if priced the same.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/xfx_geforce_8800_gt...

December 8, 2007 5:35:51 PM

I voted for the 512MB 3850. The couple of 256MB 8800GT reviews that I've read indicate that the g80/g92 architecture really requires more than 256MB to be effective, even at moderate resolutions. In some cases the 256MB 3850 was beating the 256MB 8800GT, so I'd steer clear of that card.
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December 8, 2007 6:47:21 PM

From what I have read, the 8800gt256mb variant also uses inferior and lower clocked memory. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150264

Its 1400 mhz memory clock puts it at a significant disadvantage, comparable to the standard 3850. The 512 mb 3850's are also clocked higher than their stock variants.

Id safely call in favor of the 512mb 3850 over a 256mb 8800gt.

*Edit* The xxx edition handily beats sapphires 3850 (which also uses a single slot cooler).
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2007 6:59:07 PM

Considering the heat issues that have been mentioned with some of the 8800gt's, how do you guys feel about that? How do the 3850's stack up in temrs of heat generated?
December 8, 2007 7:03:51 PM

buzznut said:
Considering the heat issues that have been mentioned with some of the 8800gt's, how do you guys feel about that? How do the 3850's stack up in terms of heat generated?


Both the 8800gt and 3850's reference coolers are pretty loud, but they *generally* do a good job with heat dissipation. In respects to overheating. With a single slot cooler you SHOULD have a 12cm fan pushing air out of the case, because they tend to dump heat into the case. Powercolor does have a superior cooler on their variant of the 3850(512), but aside from that there pretty well matched.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2007 7:15:54 PM

hmm, well that's cool I guess. Hadn't heard aboout the loud issues yet, thanks of the warning. I've heard many people on the web say they are opting for aftermarket coolers, with that trend it's no wonder card manufacterers are cutting corners with the quality of the retail coolers.

I'd have to agree that the 512MB card sounds like the better deal, I have a 22in monitor so when I buy I won't be bothering with the 256 cards, even at a more attractive price point.
I'm waiting for January when the stock is better and (hopefully) the 8800gt prices drop a bit.
December 8, 2007 7:28:49 PM

buzznut said:
hmm, well that's cool I guess. Hadn't heard aboout the loud issues yet, thanks of the warning. I've heard many people on the web say they are opting for aftermarket coolers, with that trend it's no wonder card manufacterers are cutting corners with the quality of the retail coolers.

I'd have to agree that the 512MB card sounds like the better deal, I have a 22in monitor so when I buy I won't be bothering with the 256 cards, even at a more attractive price point.
I'm waiting for January when the stock is better and (hopefully) the 8800gt prices drop a bit.


With a 22" monitor (1680 x 1050, im guessing?). you'd probably be better off waiting for an 8800 with 512mb of memory to be cheaper. As for the noise factor. The two single slot coolers are no where near as bad as say.. the x850s cooler (or an x1900's sins the AIW). However, at 100% they are still about 40 db loud, which is very audible. The only way id say go with the 3870 is if you had a problem with noise (at 40% its pretty inaudible), or if you didnt mind running low 2x, 4x AA. Otherwise, hang around for the 512 8800's.
a b U Graphics card
December 8, 2007 7:52:52 PM

yep, that's what I had in mind. prolly the evga superclocked 8800gt 512
then prolly sli when I can afford it!
!