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Radeon HD 3870 X2 - Fastest Yet! (ARTICLE BACK UP!)

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January 23, 2008 4:53:48 AM

Hope nobody has beaten me to the punch.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/01/28/ati_r680_the_rag...

Looks pretty solid so far, and could get better with official drivers. Not trying to sound like a Fan Boy, but not entirely convinced that this is going to win me over to ATI. Now I wonder what Nvidia will bring to the table.

What are your thoughts?

More about : radeon 3870 fastest article back

January 23, 2008 5:06:33 AM

I am dieing to see what this will do x2 or 4 ? can you put 4 of these on the 4x crossfire boards?.. or will it be limited to just two ? at any rate, I want to see test results of at least two of these X2s in action. Several hundred dollars less, than two ultras) when doing multi cards for better performance sound pretty good to me. And its DX10.1
January 23, 2008 5:39:22 AM

Nicely done! Have to appreciate the post date January 23 00:01 :na: 

The one thing I noticed was missing was the comparison between two 3870's in Crossfire and the 3870x2. It would definitely be worth adding in my opinion.

Only thing left to do is find some of these babies for sale somewhere, today :p 
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January 23, 2008 5:41:53 AM

Well... Unless I'm mistaken, I don't believe you can do a 4 way crossfire with the 3870x2. But seeing that 2 GPUs can barely take down a single 8800Ultra, I don't know if I can call that impressive considering the Ultra has been out for 8months now. Also as we saw some games do not take advantage of crossfire. For this reason I'm also a bit worried about the GX2 for this same reason.

But it is pretty exciting to see some new cards.
January 23, 2008 5:55:31 AM

I'd like to see two 3870X2's in Crossfire as well.

And I wonder if you could do 4 way, since the cards appear as one card? 8GPU's? Creezy man.
a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 6:19:05 AM

The review has gone, did toms break NDA? Tisk tisk :kaola: 
January 23, 2008 6:24:58 AM

Barely takes down the 8800 ultra (the ultra actually wins in some tests)... which is barely above 8800gts 512. Its power consumption rivals the 2900xt.

I think i will pass.
January 23, 2008 6:26:18 AM

Damn it all! I really wanted to read the review. For those who did, what was it's performance in games that didn't take advantage of CF? Did it perform like a 3870 would, or did it actually still beat the Ultra.

For the poster that was saying that it isn't that impressive since the Ultra is one card; the Ultra wasn't that impressive to begin with, since all they did was take a GTX and overclock it and raise it's price $200 dollars more.
January 23, 2008 6:31:11 AM

Ultra wins because the drivers are more suited for some games. The 3870X2 is being pushed back a week to tweak the drivers :( . Also no you can't run these 4 of these at once :)  they don't have enough crossfire connectors.
January 23, 2008 6:42:15 AM

IndigoMoss said:
Damn it all! I really wanted to read the review. For those who did, what was it's performance in games that didn't take advantage of CF? Did it perform like a 3870 would, or did it actually still beat the Ultra.

For the poster that was saying that it isn't that impressive since the Ultra is one card; the Ultra wasn't that impressive to begin with, since all they did was take a GTX and overclock it and raise it's price $200 dollars more.



Well... I'm not saying that I was impressed with the ULTRA but we're still talking about two cards (GTX + ULTRA) that were uncontested for for over a year. And now 2008, lets be real, ATI has just caught up. And it took them two GPUs in Crossfire vs one GPU that has been out for over a year. Again not trying to sound like a nvidia fan boy, I've owned ATI cards in the past, but I don't think this is enough for me to want to go back to ATI.

But I'm still willing to give this card a chance, maybe with new drivers this card could be a real killer but ATI havent shown us much in the last year so its hard to stay hopeful.
January 23, 2008 6:57:04 AM

Agree! was not very impressive to me. Cmon, 2 gpus vs 1 gpu. Ati can barely knock out an Ultra, bit it needs two card to achieve this. How about ati 3870 x2 vs Ultra SLI, now things will overturn. Now, lets wait for 9800x2 on mid February. Im sure 9800x2 will outperform ati x2.
a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 7:09:10 AM

mohikangamer said:
Agree! was not very impressive to me. Cmon, 2 gpus vs 1 gpu. Ati can barely knock out an Ultra, bit it needs two card to achieve this. How about ati 3870 x2 vs Ultra SLI, now things will overturn. Now, lets wait for 9800x2 on mid February. Im sure 9800x2 will outperform ati x2.

Funny you mention that, because the cost of 2 ultras would buy you 4 3870s :lol:  :pfff: 
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 7:09:51 AM


Are we actually expecting some real performance here or is this just another flash in the pan ATI have gone this route before they di dit with a 1900 series card and a 2600 maybe some more as well but its only the Nvidia based x2 card that you ever hear anything about.
Have they worked out how to make it work properly now or some thing ? looking in to my crystal ball all i see happening is ATI releasing the card (which they alresdy tried to rush in to circulation by the look of things) and getting some performance at the top level (at last) only for Nvidia to release their version which will most likley hammer the ATI card, it will be like no this is how you do it.
Im really looking for some competition from ATI as it makes life better for everyone but if the reviews were right and its not that impressive then Nvidia can release there next card when ready.
Is it just possable that some bod conected with ATI saw the reviews and said hang on thats not right and realised there was some thing wrong like "whoa we showed in tests that we had 25-30% over an Ultra better phone work andsee whats gone wrong" ?
Yea i know i wish :lol: 
Mactronix
January 23, 2008 7:10:40 AM

I'm happy I read the whole thing before it was taken down. The whole "Fastest Yet!" is hardly cut-and-dry, with crossfire/driver/game support issues, and the fact the G92 X2 should quickly reclaim the lead, albeit with similar issues.
a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 7:29:41 AM

Who took screenshots? :D 
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 7:49:34 AM


Never mind screen shots anybody take a hard copy :) 
January 23, 2008 8:49:34 AM

skittle said:
Barely takes down the 8800 ultra (the ultra actually wins in some tests)... which is barely above 8800gts 512. Its power consumption rivals the 2900xt.

I think i will pass.


yeah but the ultras power consumption was similar to the 2900xt's, probably more. I think the excitement is about ultra performance for a GOOD price.
January 23, 2008 9:10:55 AM

Surely regardless of how long it has taken to be released or for ATI to be competative is irrelavant.

Are you people listening to yourselves "barely takes down an 8800 ultra". In the 8 hours sleep I just had a lot must have changed becuase the Ultra was still king of hill before I went to bed and not considered a mainstream card.

As I didn't get to see the review before it was taken downbut judging from the replies it does beat an 8800 ultra. Now I just checked on Newegg and Ultra's are selling for over $650. This has RRP $450.It appears to me that price/performance ratio is tipped slightly in the favour of the 3870 x2.

My opinion is that the 3870 X2 will be the top performance card untill the release of the 9800GX2 which will probably beat it by the same margin of difference between a 8800gt and a 3870.
January 23, 2008 9:44:51 AM

I will agree with gpippas, while the gx2 nVidia card will most likely be faster, it will also probably cost significantly more. You are also limited to nVidia chipsets that are inferior and more limited to Intels offerings. If this card releases at a $450 price that is incredible performance for the money. Perhaps it will get nVidia to lower the prices on their cards.
January 23, 2008 10:15:52 AM

I don't know if the gx2 will be nvidia chipset only but I know for a fact that the 3870 x2 can be used with any chipset because windows and CCC recognise it as a single card rather than Xfire.

Hopefully not only will nvidia drop there prices but the release of the gx2 will cause ATI to also drop there prices a little.
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 10:37:43 AM

To gpippas

Depends on if you want to bother looking at the big picture or not the lack of competition is bad we can all agree on that cant we? no competition = no price wars = dearer cards.
As we both seem to agree on the card only being king of the hill untill the 9800GX2 gets released then that puts us back to square 1. As i said before it seems due to the lack of them being in the market place that ATI havent had much success with their dual GPU cards in the past but Nvidia have had better luck with the 7950x2 (not sure of the exact name i think that it) so when Nvidia do release the 9800GX2 personally im expecting quite a big gap.
You said Ultra's are selling for over $650. This has RRP $450. but when was the last time you can remember a card selling for RRP its only a guide.

Mactronix
January 23, 2008 11:03:22 AM

HD3870X2 = Big success for ATi.

Stop looking at it as CF on a card. It is the future really... Dual Chip, Dual Core.. all that kinda stuff for graphics. Provided it starts to scale well it's on a single PCB.

9800 GX2 is an extension of the 7950 GX2 and will likely encounter some of the same problems (Heat being the primary). Odds are it will be faster.

We (consumers) have to look at this in two ways. Ultimate Performance (which SLI'd Ultras still have) or price/performance. The HD3870 and 3850 are great for price/performance. The closest comparison I can think of is the HD3870X2 versus SLI'd 8800 GTs. I would like to see some Benchmarks there.

The other thing is.. lets face it. nVidia chipsets are garbage compared to Intel. SLI ties you into an nVidia motherboard. I really wish nVidia would get over themselves and unlock SLI on all boards so that we can once again pick boards based on merit and ability rather than the "platform" idea. This is the main thing steering me toward ATi on my next build. R700 here I come.

Edit: The other thing.. in the discrete market where are the bulk of the sales coming from? It's definately not going to be the HD3870X2 or the Ultra.. It's the HD3850s, the HD36 series, the 8800 GT, or the 8600 GT/9600 GT series.
January 23, 2008 11:06:47 AM

mactronix

First off yeah I agree no competition = no price wars = dearer cards.

The 9800GX2 will no doubt be quicker than the 3870x2. The big question is by how much exactly. Current rumors suggest about 30% over the 8800 ultra.

Using the 8800 Ultra as a base 100%. The 3870X2 currently looks on track to be 115%. With the 9800GX2 at a possible 130% that leaves a measly 15% performance difference, which is like 5 fps. Not only that but if the 9800GX2 is priced at 15% more than the 3870X2, there price/performance ratio = to eachother.

True generally nothing sells at RRP but as long as it doesn't cost more than a 8800 ultra it is relatively good value.

I see what you are saying about ATI still not being on top but the margin isn't as big as before but:

1. When the 2900xt was released it was outperformed by the 8800gts 640mb, 8800gtx and the 8800ultra.

2. The 3870 is currently outperformed by the 8800gt, 8800gts 512mb, 8800gtx and the 8800ultra.

3. The 3870X2 at release is outperformed by nothing. When the 9800GX2 is released it will outperform the 3870x2.

Ok it won't hold the overall performance crown for long but its the closest ATI has come in over a year. They are slowly narrowing the gap which to me is a decent sign of competition. And if the trend continues they might be able to have the performance crown the very high end by the end of the year.

Greg
January 23, 2008 11:23:00 AM

It's amazing how far people will take an argument out of context to suit themselves... (I won't quote to embarass them!)
There is a lot of "but it has taken a dual-core graphics card from ATi to beat the GTX & Ultra". Yes, but what exactly is nvidia bringing to the table to compete with 3870X2.... oh yeah, what is in effect two 8800GT's in permanent SLi....
To me, that is no better or worse than what ATi have released...
GTX & Ultra are monsters that consume power in vast quantities, are difficult to house in cases, are tied to nvidia boards if you want SLi, produce fairly enormous amounts of heat....
The 3870X2 is much smaller, is probably a little lower on power consumption, seemingly has better thermal management (55nm appears to be a benefit).
The 3870 may be a nailed together card (or core, depending on your viewpoint) but it IS new technology, not just refreshed as (seemingly) the 9800GX2 is.
Nvidia, I think, are going into an AMD style complacency of "we're the best" and if the 3870X2 performs as strongly as suggested, they may just find this card sells remarkably better than their top stuff.
I should add (further to my thread in here) I am very much considering going to Crossfire'd 3870 or 3870X2 instead of my GTX. :) 
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 11:33:27 AM


To gpippas
Yea i see where you are comong from now, i've been off reading what little i can find about these cards and was wondering if you know once and for all, Are Nvidia really going to make this card SLI as in you cant run it on a non SLI board ? Just seems insane to me to slash your potential market like that.
Things may well be swinging the other way, it has before and will again, The Nvidia card is said to be their stepping stone to a dual gpu card and as such ATI clearly have some R&D time in hand of Nvidia there.
The new archiitecture that ATI put in to the R600 core really did look promasing at the time and it would seem that they are managing to narrow the performance gap, the die shrink on the 3800 series seemed to help a lot there.
So yes i guess given a year or so they could well have the crown back for a while, its only bragging rights anyway as cnumartyr said sales are down to the mid low end of the scale.
Cheers
Mactronix
Anonymous
January 23, 2008 11:45:15 AM

mohikangamer said:
Agree! was not very impressive to me. Cmon, 2 gpus vs 1 gpu. Ati can barely knock out an Ultra, bit it needs two card to achieve this. How about ati 3870 x2 vs Ultra SLI, now things will overturn. Now, lets wait for 9800x2 on mid February. Im sure 9800x2 will outperform ati x2.



Are you just being retarted? You pay $449 for just one x2 3870 and $600 for just one Ultra so $1200 for a SLI-ultra
I sure hope with that price that Nvidia could pull off a victory.

Its quite clear that the x2 3870 or yet even a single HD3870 kicks nvidias ass for the price vs performance comparison.
I cant even believe you would try to compare it like that.

Why not make fun of a mustang GT for being slow vs a Ferrari.

LoL
Anonymous
January 23, 2008 11:47:56 AM

cnumartyr said:
HD3870X2 = Big success for ATi.

Stop looking at it as CF on a card. It is the future really... Dual Chip, Dual Core.. all that kinda stuff for graphics. Provided it starts to scale well it's on a single PCB.

9800 GX2 is an extension of the 7950 GX2 and will likely encounter some of the same problems (Heat being the primary). Odds are it will be faster.

We (consumers) have to look at this in two ways. Ultimate Performance (which SLI'd Ultras still have) or price/performance. The HD3870 and 3850 are great for price/performance. The closest comparison I can think of is the HD3870X2 versus SLI'd 8800 GTs. I would like to see some Benchmarks there.

The other thing is.. lets face it. nVidia chipsets are garbage compared to Intel. SLI ties you into an nVidia motherboard. I really wish nVidia would get over themselves and unlock SLI on all boards so that we can once again pick boards based on merit and ability rather than the "platform" idea. This is the main thing steering me toward ATi on my next build. R700 here I come.

Edit: The other thing.. in the discrete market where are the bulk of the sales coming from? It's definately not going to be the HD3870X2 or the Ultra.. It's the HD3850s, the HD36 series, the 8800 GT, or the 8600 GT/9600 GT series.

AGREED
January 23, 2008 11:50:20 AM

That depends on if the mustang gt comes with 256 or 512MB of memory...

And if they are gonna release the gts soon?
Anonymous
January 23, 2008 11:51:40 AM

rosu9801 said:
That depends on if the mustang gt comes with 256 or 512MB of memory...

And if they are gonna release the gts soon?



hehehe
January 23, 2008 11:54:58 AM

I really agree the whole 2 GPU's vs 1 GPU argument needs to just go away. It is really completely irrelevant now with the way markets are going as others have given examples of, dual cores, quad cores, so on and so forth. In the end imo it all comes down to a price/performance ratio. I don't care if ATI or Nvidia slaps 8 GPU's on to one card if they can offer superior performance at a price that is less than one monster single GPU card. Also I believe amd/ati made the statement they don't intend to make any more cards over 500 dollars so it's fairly easy for nvidia to hold the absolute performance crowns if they are still willing to put out 600-700 dollar cards. In the end like also previously stated these extreme high end cards represent such a small market share and are primarily bragging rights.
January 23, 2008 11:58:13 AM

4-way crossfire for 3870x2? That Chinese website had 334W peak power consumption! That means I need a 1600W power supply to support that plus a phenom 9900 and any drives
January 23, 2008 12:14:27 PM

Mactronix I also said I have no idea if the 9800GX2 is SLI only. I think a lot of people havn't realised yet that the 3870X2 doesn't run like Xfire it is a multi-gpu single card solution. Which like you stated if the 9800GX2 is limited to Nvidia chipsets only, then a load of there potential market goes down the toilet.

People comparing 3870x2 to the 79**gx2 (whatever it was called) are completely wrong this nothing like it. Also consider when the 79**gx2 was released enthusiast at the time had high end A64's, most of which were running on Nvidia chipsets because they were the best available for the A64 at the time, so there were a lot of SLI boards in circulation.

Like you say the top end is only bragging rights but bragging rights filters all the way down to the bottom. The reputation of the top dog helps to sell bottom end. Yes the money is in the mid and low range but the high end does its job too.

Consider the car industry. Every manufacturer has a top model that is obscenely expensive and made in small numbers and boasts performance figures greater than anything else they sell. The Carrera GT looks a little like the Boxster. It has the same the Porsche badge. Its made in the same factory or near by at least, designed by the same engineers. This makes the Boxster owner feel like they are buying a little Carrera GT. That the same magic involved to make one of the fastest cars in the world is in the car that costs £300,000 less. Maybe a heater nob is the same but thats it. See what I mean bragging rights have there place too.

LukeBird

What pisses me off the most is that the reviews have come (and gone) and everybody seem to jump to Crysis benchmarks and has said its not impressive having read nothing about card. They appear to have only looked at 1 maybe 2 benchies and made a desicion.
January 23, 2008 12:17:47 PM

bfellow said:
4-way crossfire for 3870x2? That Chinese website had 334W peak power consumption! That means I need a 1600W power supply to support that plus a phenom 9900 and any drives


Don't worry you wont need to take over a power station because they can't do quad Xfire. They don't have enough connectors.
January 23, 2008 12:22:14 PM

Crysis results do make up alot of people's minds, but then again it is the one game where scaling is needed the most.

Mind you saying that my stock 2900pro plays it high/medium at 1400x900 30fps average (xp). I got high shader & physics, object detail, texture and water. It looks sweet as, you just gotta find the right settings, and hey presto. Crysis being unenjoyable on anything below a gtx is a modern urban myth, spread by those who simply cant stand having any settings on medium.
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 12:31:33 PM


Sorry gpippas i missed that you said you didnt know and yea i realise it all filters through and thats the whole point.
Well i guess everone will just have to sit tight and see how it pans out we wont know the whole story untill the 9800GX2 comes out any way.
As you said though at closer inspection it looks loke there is gonna be some competition at last. :) 
Mactronix
January 23, 2008 12:36:03 PM

While Crysis is good for comparison. It is by no means the only thing to consider. My personal opinion is that Crysis is horribly optimised and scales worse the further up you go. What Crysis needs is lots of patches and better driver support. TBH I'm now convinced anyway that nobody actually plays Crysis but simply spends all there time looking at scenery and tweaking the settings so there scenery can run at 30fps.

I agree with spoonboy about the Crysis myth. The man talks sense. If someone playing at 800x600 all settiongs low can be happy (housemate) rich kids should be happy they can play it at high with some settings on medium.
January 23, 2008 12:45:45 PM

Mactronix

You don't need to say sorry mate. I'm glad someone agrees with me/could be bothered to read my riduculously long posts. My reaction was more towards the trolls who make a descision with little/no facts.
Agreed need the whole story.
I thing ATI/AMD needs all the luck/money it can get at the moment. We as consumers need the competition to keep prices down. For me this is a sign for greater things to come from both sides and a turn back to form for ATI.
January 23, 2008 12:46:03 PM

bfellow said:
4-way crossfire for 3870x2? That Chinese website had 334W peak power consumption! That means I need a 1600W power supply to support that plus a phenom 9900 and any drives


4-Way Crossfire = 2 3870X2s.

If Crossfire scales well and R700 does what I hope it to do.. I can't wait. I love Intel chipsets.
a c 89 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 12:49:12 PM

bfellow said:
4-way crossfire for 3870x2? That Chinese website had 334W peak power consumption! That means I need a 1600W power supply to support that plus a phenom 9900 and any drives

lol, that was total system power consumption not just the videocard.
January 23, 2008 1:25:47 PM

From the thread that I had running (which these probably botht went up around the same time), I had linked a source with benchmarks and pictures or the 3870x2. The card is the same length as the 8800 Ultra, and is thinner only becuase the ultra has the fan bump on it.


errr, yeah.
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 1:43:16 PM


Good find ironnads i just took a pdf copy incase it gets took down like toms did.
Mactronix :) 
January 23, 2008 2:07:59 PM

Ironnads said:
I think we have a new high end champ!! Zabba! Come on ATI!!

http://www.fpslabs.com/reviews/video/amd-radeon-hd-3870...

How much, where can I buy it?? OOOOOh combo with my soon to arrive 8400 wolfy!!!



Ryan.


http://www.fpslabs.com/reviews/video/amd-radeon-hd-3870-x2-review/page-8

and

http://www.fpslabs.com/reviews/video/amd-radeon-hd-3870-x2-review/page-9

I understand if you are a big Call of Juarez fan, this might be a great card, but for my money I'm pretty happy with my 8800GTS 512 (despite it's retarded name). I'll be interested to see the heat and power results as well as overclocking. When is the NDA actually up and when is this Tom's article coming back?
January 23, 2008 2:30:04 PM

I have to buy a new graphic card.
So what would be better, ATI HD 3870 or the 8800 GTS 512MB ?
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 23, 2008 2:36:25 PM


To prodystopian
I to thought it pretty sus that we were linked to page 6 of a 9 page review, im waiting for some more reviews when they come out before i make my mind up, Fairly sure i wont get one straight off the bat even though im building a whole new system in a month or two i think i will settle for a 3870 or GTS (G92) for a start.
Mactronix
January 23, 2008 3:11:52 PM

4 DVI port 3870x2 Asus card!


January 23, 2008 3:27:34 PM

I wanna support AMD so we don't end up beholden to Nvidia, but it's gonna be hard to get ahold of one of these.

Probably impossible to buy at MSRP.
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