Keep in mind before I start I uninstalled the old drivers and used driver cleaner pro and have a Rosewell 550w PSU.
First, I just upgraded from a 6800 GS PCI-e to a Sapphire HD 3870. Its nice but... Except for the fact that its two generations ahead of the 6800 and I can now push slightly higher resolution or AA/AF I'm not seeing the dramatic difference in picture quality, some textures a little sharper but again probably due to being 2 generations later. Nothing to really write about. Desktop and DVD quality are completly the same.
I bought the 3870 over the 8800GT mainly for two reasons. Price and the ability to play some of my older games unless I can get confirmation otherwise (that will be later). First a rant about the HDMI sound, whoever decided at ATI that it would be a great idea to have the video cards sound override the main sound card on the PC needs to get punched repeatedly. I know it only takes a moment to disable the HDMI or reinstall the original drivers but seriously come on!
I first started out after completing the 3870 install by installing Medal of Honor Allied Assault, COD/OU and COD 2. Then FS9, so far so good for the most part. Next came IL2/PF. After reading others post on the IL2 forums I knew to leave the IQ at standard, unfortunatly regardless of any CCC setting I still get stuttering, its like the card or the sim is having a seizure or something. Its not bad but just slightly enough to get real annoying and throw me off my game. Force AA/AF or screw with CCC, bad news. Its even worse in CFS 2,3 and there I'm having horrible graphical problems and tearing. Cat 7.11, 12, current Omega and Cat 8.3 (using currently) all have the same results in the same games regardless of settings.
A question about drivers. Taking my 6800 lets say I upgrade the drivers to, and I'm making up a number here, say driver 163.15. So I go to nivida's website, click on drivers, OS XP, series 6xxx and get to 163.15. Let's say for the sake of argument that this driver works great with everything I have. Then I upgrade to an 8800GT and do the same. Go to nvidia's site again, click on drivers, OS XP, series 8xxx. and get to 163.15. Would I have similar results or now would I have problems? The reason I ask is when the 8800 series first came out, though they were weird megabyte size, they had problems with many older games, mine that would be affected are Medal of Honor Allied Assault and Call of Duty, even some newer games are affected. I believe and don't quote me here but it was due to memory dumping from having odd mb sizes at 320, 640 and 768. Is that fixed now that nvidia has gone back to 256 and 512? We all or most of us, guessing, have that old classic we don't want to leave behind or at least I don't. Confirmation here would be great.
Back to the 3870. If I up the settings on CCC too far a couple of things will happen. Either I get some wierd texture error (COD2), CTD (all the flight sims and FPS) or freezes. I can almost fix this by going into the CCC settings and finding the sweetspot for each game that will run but to be honest that is a royal pain in the ---. Are the days when you could just set everything you want and leave it gone? Nvidia dudes you having similar problems with your drivers?
The thing is I'd go back to nvidia and get an 8800GT, especially when a good deal comes out but don't want to gain smooth fps in some games only to not run others while I can run most everything but two flight sims albeit with some irritation on the 3870. I could go back to the 6800GS but its a number or years old and well like all electronic parts its wearing out. The only real positive thing that came out of this is I also bought with the new card a zelman vf900 fan, unless zelman make it a point to screw things up I'm a fan for life. Those things rock!
At this point I could use some non-fanboy advice and heck, even some game/driver confirmation. Takes deep breath to calm down.
You did uninstall your old nVidia drivers? And whats the amps on the 12 volt with that rosewell? Have you also checked your temps? And finally, what all is in your rig?
I uninstalled the old drivers, see first sentence. The PSU has 36 amps on the 12v rail. Temps are holding 33c for idle, 45c under load. Rig: FX-60, 2 gigs ram, HD 3870, 250 gig HD. I also downloaded and installed the dual core fix from AMD.