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Radeon HD 2900Pro? a good choice?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 18, 2008 4:00:39 AM

Picked the card from newegg for $155
Is it sufficient to play Team Fortress 2 and WoW on 1600 with high graphics? maybe some crysis??
Looked like a really good bargain.
Is the 3850 better?
January 18, 2008 4:24:42 AM

The 3850 is a better deal at $169.99, a much better deal.

If you can get your hands on a 3850 512MB for around $180, there isn't any vidcard that can beat it's price/performance.

If you can, RMA the card.
January 18, 2008 4:27:25 AM

Yes to your first question and no to your second. The HD 2900 Pro should not only be slightly faster but also have twice the memory than the HD 3850 (The 512MB of the 3850 runs for about $200-210 so it doesn't count on this price segment).
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January 18, 2008 4:43:14 AM

how about the OC ability of the card?
January 18, 2008 4:51:43 AM

Emp, I'm sure the 3850 is faster than the 2900Pro, least on low resolutions. If the $169.99 Apollo HD3850 512MB at newegg is trustworthy, the 3850 is way better.

For the OC ability of the card, I know for a fact the 2900PRO can OC like crazy. I'm not too sure about the 3850.
January 18, 2008 5:26:02 AM

I'm getting myself Powercolor HD3870 512mb $242.00 here in Philippines
January 18, 2008 5:28:42 AM

tekzor said:
Picked the card from newegg for $155
Is it sufficient to play Team Fortress 2 and WoW on 1600 with high graphics? maybe some crysis??
Looked like a really good bargain.
Is the 3850 better?


I have the 2900 pro 512-bit. Don't know if your looking at the 256 bit version. Mine plays UT3, Bioshock very nicely. Not as fast on COD4 though. It will use more power than the 3850 and it overclocks very well on the stock cooling. Got 14,400 on basic 3Dmark06 overclocked on a 3.6 Q6600.

I'm impressed with it. Came from a 1900xt and that was a decent card. I think the two are comparable in performance and but the 2900 pro price is inviting.
January 18, 2008 5:57:39 AM

The 3850 256mb has about the same GPU power as the 2900Pro, maybe a little less, but the 2900PRo can VERY easily reach the performance of the 2900XT and even go past it. Hell you can even flash the 2900XT bios to the 2900Pro, to basically get a full blown 2900XT for only $155 dollars. I personally think the 2900Pro is the best price/performance ratio card on the market.
January 18, 2008 6:38:05 AM

I just bought a 3870 and the overclocking is only limited by the cards bios. The 3850 is a probably better card then the 2900 Pro price/performance.
January 18, 2008 12:10:54 PM

tekzor said:
how about the OC ability of the card?


(##If you have a 500w or better 550w psu, get a 2900 pro over a 3850##)

Take a look at this thread, although there are examples all over the web at extremesystems and suchlike of huge overclocks,

http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic89808.html

This guy 'schmutz' took his pro from stock 600 gpu 800 (1600) memory to 800 gpu 900 (1800) memory. Ive heard of people getting pros up around the 820 level on the core, and heard the memory will go up to 950 (1900) and beyond. Im one of the posters on this thread (under a different name as on tom's) and I have just bought a pro, so thats why I picked this thread out.

Basicaly, a pro can be overclocked by 35% or more but crucially the memory can be overclocked to keep pace with the higher core speed. Although the r600 core has a 512bit bus it still likes more bandwidth. From same person on same thread: "Overclocking memory seems to have more of a performance impact than overclocking core"

In stock form then a 3850 might be a bit faster than a pro, but the pro will overclock a little higher in relative terms both on the core AND the memory. From what I have seen of 3850 reviews, the memory wont overclock to 3870 levels, even if the gpu will get their and go beyond. So you'll be limited in that respect with the hights you can reach with a 3850.

What you will need to get the higher overclocks on a 2900pro is some good cooling, as the standard hsf is loud and annoying at anything over 33% fan speeds. You will be able to overclock at 33% fan speed, just not a huge amount, as the load temps at that fan speed and at stock core and memory speeds for me is never over 65 degrees celsius. You could try this enormously effective aftermarket hsf which I would say is equal to watercooling. Dont believe me? just take a look at it lol, and its lighter than the stock one too:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=713

Unfortunately no overclocking test in this review, which is a travesty, but to sum it up you can get less than 45 centigrade loads temps on an xt with this cooler, so that means good things for 2900 pro overclocking.

The pro in short is a super overclocker but is much more power hungry than a 3850 or even 3870. I just bought a pro and Im very happy with it.
January 18, 2008 1:09:31 PM

(im talking about the 512bit one here)

clock for clock the 2900 Pro is about the same as the 3870. and it overclocks extremely well, its just a 2900XT with a different bios, I have mine at 820/1880 for 24/7 use, and run it at 850/1950 for benchmarking.

I dont know why people say its a loud card, mine is on stock cooling and i cant hear it at idle, and can BARELY hear it at 100% load, i have to put my head down next to the case to hear it.

imo you dont have to worry about the memory clocks on the 2900, You'd have to run the memory on the 3850 at 3.6ghz in order to match 1.8ghz memory bandwidth on the 2900 Pro..
January 18, 2008 1:15:38 PM

ooohhh nice! Just a few questions please,

Are you still on stock cooling? if so what fan speed? have you found a way of adjusting the fan speed in increments not in 33% chunks? what are your load temps in the non-benchmarking 24/7 settings with whatever cooling youve got? are you on the pro bios??

Much appreciated.
January 18, 2008 1:21:47 PM

Sorry didnt see you'd edited the post, but could you answer my questions except for the have you got stock cooling one please? That would be great. Your load temps at 820/1180, fan speed control and if your on the pro bios are the most interesting.

#also sorry, did you use rivatuner or ati tool?# Cheers.
January 18, 2008 1:47:52 PM

I got a 500W PSU so I'm looking into OCing. I hope the 256 bit version is not too far from the 512bit one in terms of performance.
I will get the card today and may post some benchmarks. Along with some OCs
January 18, 2008 2:19:10 PM

tekzor said:
I got a 500W PSU so I'm looking into OCing. I hope the 256 bit version is not too far from the 512bit one in terms of performance.
I will get the card today and may post some benchmarks. Along with some OCs


Please do! I am quite interested in your results.
January 18, 2008 4:15:45 PM

spoonboy said:
ooohhh nice! Just a few questions please,

Are you still on stock cooling? if so what fan speed? have you found a way of adjusting the fan speed in increments not in 33% chunks? what are your load temps in the non-benchmarking 24/7 settings with whatever cooling youve got? are you on the pro bios??

Much appreciated.


I ran on the XT Bios for a while, but went back to the pro, i found games to be smoother for some reason. However, i did flash my pro bios with my stable clocks of 820/940(1880)

Dunno about the fan, i leave it on auto.. loads about 80-82C
January 18, 2008 4:25:32 PM

Ok cheers for that info.
January 18, 2008 4:57:14 PM

what is the best OC tool for card?
January 18, 2008 5:53:37 PM

Use RivaTuner, you can use it to adjust the fan too. Mine is at 820 on core and 1000mhz on memory. To keep it under 70c the fan had to be at about 50% which is quite noticeable.

I'll post the the registry entry that needs to be adjusted so the fan can be adjusted when at my computer.
January 18, 2008 6:08:59 PM

I like rivatuner.
January 18, 2008 8:08:58 PM

I have received the card and everything is smooth so far except catalyst control center giving me an error and a recommended PSU is 550W=\.

I benchmarked this card on 3dmark 05(free version basic settings) so far with a score of 10453.

Using: brisbane x2 3600+ (1.9ghz stock)
2gb ddr2 800
sata 7200rpm HDD

will bench with 06 and tf2 and will display result and maybe then Il try OC. I am worried that my PSU might mess up the card seeing as its 500W.
January 18, 2008 8:28:49 PM

no third party o/c utils here, just flashed the bios with my stable clocks :p 
January 18, 2008 9:24:48 PM

tekzor said:
I have received the card and everything is smooth so far except catalyst control center giving me an error and a recommended PSU is 550W=\.

will bench with 06 and tf2 and will display result and maybe then Il try OC. I am worried that my PSU might mess up the card seeing as its 500W.


The funny thing is, the manual of my 2600xt states that i need a 550Watt psu for it too.
January 18, 2008 9:35:30 PM

PSYCHoHoLiC said:
no third party o/c utils here, just flashed the bios with my stable clocks :p 


dont know about flashing but ati tool hogged 40% resource of my system and didnt open. Gona try riva tuner.
January 18, 2008 10:18:13 PM

tekzor said:
dont know about flashing but ati tool hogged 40% resource of my system and didnt open. Gona try riva tuner.


I can tell you from experience as I own a 2900Pro that it will run TF2 flawlessly at that resolution. And if you have the 1GB version it will have a higher memory clock than that 512MB version. You can OC them to hight than the XT versions easily if you have on 8pin and on 6 pin for ATI overdrive.

I can play Crysis on 1280x1024 with all settings to very high and get at least 30FPS. I like the card and plan on getting another for CF but thats after tax time.
January 18, 2008 10:39:33 PM

jimmysmitty said:
I can tell you from experience as I own a 2900Pro that it will run TF2 flawlessly at that resolution. And if you have the 1GB version it will have a higher memory clock than that 512MB version. You can OC them to hight than the XT versions easily if you have on 8pin and on 6 pin for ATI overdrive.

I can play Crysis on 1280x1024 with all settings to very high and get at least 30FPS. I like the card and plan on getting another for CF but thats after tax time.



where do I get the ATI overdrive
January 19, 2008 1:53:01 PM

Quote:
I can play Crysis on 1280x1024 with all settings to very high and get at least 30FPS. I like the card and plan on getting another for CF but thats after tax time.



I seriously doubt that you can run Crysis at very high settings. Not even SLI 8800 GTX's will do that at 30fps. You are saying that is thwe lowest your card will go. I get 15 FPS at HIGH, not very HIGH with my 2900 XT. Granted I am running at 1600x1200, but yeah your just wrong.
January 20, 2008 7:08:07 PM

tekzor said:
where do I get the ATI overdrive


As long as you have one 8pin PCIe connector and another 6pin PCIe connector it will show up in CCC as the last option for OC'ing the card.

Dirty_Harry2 said:
Quote:
I can play Crysis on 1280x1024 with all settings to very high and get at least 30FPS. I like the card and plan on getting another for CF but thats after tax time.



I seriously doubt that you can run Crysis at very high settings. Not even SLI 8800 GTX's will do that at 30fps. You are saying that is thwe lowest your card will go. I get 15 FPS at HIGH, not very HIGH with my 2900 XT. Granted I am running at 1600x1200, but yeah your just wrong.


Ok you can tell me all you want you are wrong but when playing the game I am able to get around 30FPS and sometimes more in certain areas. I will agree that some areas would cause more lag and drop but overall I was able to play through the whole game nicely. I also don't use any AA or AF.

Compared to the demo the game ran much better. I did go in and turn down shadows and a few other things but kept most on Very High. This was only for the end and the part in the middle where you start fighting the Koreans.

Besides do you have the 2900XT 512MB or 1GB? You should know that the 1GB version has a higher memory bandwidth than the 512MB version as it uses GDDR4. Which is why I wounder why no one ever benches the 1GB versions.
January 20, 2008 7:11:23 PM

Dirty_Harry2 said:
Quote:
I can play Crysis on 1280x1024 with all settings to very high and get at least 30FPS. I like the card and plan on getting another for CF but thats after tax time.



I seriously doubt that you can run Crysis at very high settings. Not even SLI 8800 GTX's will do that at 30fps. You are saying that is thwe lowest your card will go. I get 15 FPS at HIGH, not very HIGH with my 2900 XT. Granted I am running at 1600x1200, but yeah your just wrong.


I play on DX9 with the DX10 hacks on it. Runs just fine at 16x10 on my 8800 GTS G92. All max settings and no AA. I can go with 2xAA but it's choppy in some areas.
January 20, 2008 7:19:02 PM

I finaly got ATITOOL to work!
I played around with some of the setting...
fan speed 100% makes the card sound like a small vacuum :p 
I tried auto OC and it pushed my memory 80mhz in 1 sec and cause my screen to go unstable- gona have to manually push this card.
I have been getting 30+fps in WoW with high settings no AA/AF at 1600x1200
50FPS in TF2 with high setting!
Loving this card so far - the price was fantastic!
January 22, 2008 7:03:19 PM

cd14 said:
Use RivaTuner, you can use it to adjust the fan too. Mine is at 820 on core and 1000mhz on memory. To keep it under 70c the fan had to be at about 50% which is quite noticeable.

I'll post the the registry entry that needs to be adjusted so the fan can be adjusted when at my computer.


CD14 could u post that registry entry pls?

cheers
January 25, 2008 9:25:33 PM

tekzor said:
I finaly got ATITOOL to work!
I played around with some of the setting...
fan speed 100% makes the card sound like a small vacuum :p 
I tried auto OC and it pushed my memory 80mhz in 1 sec and cause my screen to go unstable- gona have to manually push this card.
I have been getting 30+fps in WoW with high settings no AA/AF at 1600x1200
50FPS in TF2 with high setting!
Loving this card so far - the price was fantastic!


I told you its a nice card. I just wish you had gotten the 1GB version for the higher memory clock(925MHz vs 800MHz) and the ability to OC it higher too.

I run TF2 all settings high and texture on very high with max AA/AF @1280x1024 and get great FPS. Never need to worry unless the connection is laggy. I love the game.

I have never gotten ATITool to work right for OCing the card but I will look around for a good way to. I heard there is a way to get Overdrive to work without a 8pin PCI Express connector....might have to look that up.

Edit: Found a nice tool for OCing it easily. AMD GPU tool. Just google it for the download. It allows you to just type in what you want to use. I still can't get ATITool to just load to check for artifacts but this program did OC it and it runs at 69c with my OC idle and 74 was the average while running Crysis. Check this out http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/48upg/ - 37% GPU OC/19% memory OC(didn't even push it)
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/eyc2h/ - stock 3D speeds
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/9nyee/ (got bored.... yay!!!!)
!