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Single slot HD3870. Isn't it just a OC:ed HD3850?

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March 12, 2008 8:55:57 PM

Hi,

I'm going to get myself a new PC and found that some HD3870s in my country (Sweden) have price droped to 9600GT prices. But at a closer look its cooler is single slot and looks just like the one on the HD3850. So if there aren't any differences besides the cooler to begin with isn't the single slot HD3870 just a OC:ed HD3850 in disguise? And on top of that, how good is that cooler?
I hope I'm wrong cause it'll be a really good deal.
March 12, 2008 10:18:13 PM

I've read the reviews from tomshardware, anandtech and xbitlabs. Right now the standard sapphire version of HD3870 are at 9600GT price level but it has single slot cooling and the cooler looks identical to the on on the HD3850. Will it manage to cool the HD3870 effectively? What about noise? How much will it OC?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 12:48:46 AM

Here are the differences between the two cards. Basically the same chip but the HD3870 has higher clocks and several models have DDR4 memory.



To answer your questions:
1.) From the reviews I have read on New Egg the Sapphire HD3870 is quiet. I think this can be attributed to the larger fan. Look at the thing, it is almost the width of the card.
2.) The card (from what I have seen from reviews) appears to be reasonably cool.
3.) There is head room for Overclocking.

Personally I perfer Sapphire's original doubleslot design MUCH better because it exhausts hot air out of the case rather than inside it. I have a Sapphire x1950GT which has a similar single slot cooler where the hot air rises off the end of the card which likely passes over my CPU. Over all it is probably a very minor tempurature increase but an increase none the less.

The Sapphire HD3870 is a great looking card. However they are coming out with a faster revision of this card next month or in early May. I think it would be worth holding out for another 30 days. Plus the Nvidia vs ATI price war should heat up even more and you would get a better price. If you have a half way decent video card right now I would try to hold off of buying. It is painful to do (at least it would be for me) but try to bear it if you can.

Here is the story on the new HD3870 cards: http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...
March 13, 2008 2:58:17 AM

Yup Theres going to be a A12 revision. Hopefully it will break the bios bug and be able to OC higher than 850mhz. The card should easily break 900mhz with a good cooler. easily...
March 13, 2008 9:37:24 AM

thanks for the replies.
Well if the A12 revision isn't going to be a big thing then I can probably just get the cards now. I'm on a HD2600xt so I won't be playing any games today :p . From what RWayne said the single slot cooled HD3870 don't seem bad at all. Although I agree that the dual slot cooler is better but it is also more expensive and not that much from what a dual slot 8800GT would cost.
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 11:14:04 AM

I want to get a HD3870 really bad but I am trying to hold off until the R700 when it comes out like in 60-90 days. I have heard of performance increases of between 40% - 100%. AMD has a lot of confidence in the R700. They are telling their partners to expect to gain about 50% of the Video card market with this new chip which would be about a 15% -20% increase in market share for ATI.

It is very HARD for me to have patience to wait for it but I have a decent card right now. The only way I get a HD3870 if the prices drop a lot (which they might) in April or May.
March 13, 2008 2:02:09 PM

zhaf said:
Hi,

I'm going to get myself a new PC and found that some HD3870s in my country (Sweden) have price droped to 9600GT prices. But at a closer look its cooler is single slot and looks just like the one on the HD3850. So if there aren't any differences besides the cooler to begin with isn't the single slot HD3870 just a OC:ed HD3850 in disguise? And on top of that, how good is that cooler?
I hope I'm wrong cause it'll be a really good deal.


I suspect 3870s are binned higher than 3850s, seeing as 3870s seem to oc higher than 3850s, hence there are modified BIOS' on the internet to allow them to oc above 863mhz, right?

Maybe the 3870s have a higher Vcore or something though.
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2008 2:20:54 AM

New egg just updated their reviews for the single slot HD3870. The most recent reviews from 3/13 say the card is loud. Much more so than the other components. Not good.
March 14, 2008 2:59:43 AM

RWayne:

I know it is against our nature to want to aim a bit lower, but you can't wait any longer you may want to grab a 3850 on the cheap. Supposedly a price drop has been announced, so we should see it filter through over the next week or 2.

I had a Sapphire 3850/512, but it was overheating--more of a poor choice for my system parameters than a knock on the card. I now have a double slot HIS ICEQ3 3870 (sucks--but that is another story). The cooling system is much more efficient, but I really don't see much of a difference in performance over the 3850. Most reviews only show a couple frames difference in real world performance--would you notice that difference? Even the 3850 was a MASSIVE performance increase over my 800 xt.

If your system could handle the extra heat of a single slot design, you may want to snag one--especially if they hit the $125 or so mark as they should shortly. Even if you take a 50% hit when you look to resell it in a few months, a $60 loss isn't too bad--probably about the amount that you would save by waiting a month or so after the R700 release to purchase it. That's at least how I am justifying upgrading... :) 
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2008 3:14:22 AM

Husky,

I think I am really gravativating towards a value purchase. Meaning getting something next month when prices will likely be at their lowest point. When the R700 comes out it will be sold by etailers for above MSRP just like the 3870 and 3850 cards were. And I don't want to over pay just to be one of the first adoptors of a new product.

To be honest with you now I am thinking about a 9600GT. It seems to be a better performer when AA is enabled.

Hey, tell me about your HIS IceQ HD3870. What sucks about it? I was considering getting that card but I really am questioning if they are a quality company. I mean...they will not even respond to emails from me about questions about their product. How could they keep their mouth shut to a potenial customer?
March 14, 2008 3:53:49 AM

I bought 2x HD3650's 512DDR2 in the interim for 94$ each. Really I need 1, but I bought a 2nd one for my g/f's PC which she will get once I test them in crossfire =D(She plays the sims2 w/ onboard 6100 graphics atm). I wouldn't suggest buying a 9600gt before seeing what r700 has to offer, you may end up kicking yourself in the arse. 9600gt by all means should definetly be a better performer with filtering of most kinds since it uses a better compression algorythm to make the best out of whatever hardware it has. Expect the 9800's to be high performers as well due to this. Now I wonder how well AMD is going to either keep up or overtake nvidia in the next few months. After the last 10 years, nothing can surprise me from AMD anymore. The good, the bad and the ugly, they've had it all.

Back to the topic:
Yes, the 3870 is a higher clocked 3850 and vice versa. But I do not believe it is an "overclocked" 3850 as in a 3850 rated chip OC'd to 3870 clocks.
a c 130 U Graphics card
March 14, 2008 5:57:43 AM


His are not the only company to make the 3870 and 3850 with a twin slot solution cooler.
Gecube make a card that is pretty much identical in apperance, dont know about the clocks.
I have two friends who have gone the value route and have a 3850 from them.
You cant tell when the card fires up it really is very quiet.
Mactronix
March 14, 2008 6:05:02 AM

rwayne said:
I want to get a HD3870 really bad but I am trying to hold off until the R700 when it comes out like in 60-90 days. I have heard of performance increases of between 40% - 100%. AMD has a lot of confidence in the R700. They are telling their partners to expect to gain about 50% of the Video card market with this new chip which would be about a 15% -20% increase in market share for ATI.

It is very HARD for me to have patience to wait for it but I have a decent card right now. The only way I get a HD3870 if the prices drop a lot (which they might) in April or May.


We all heard this, about this time last year about the R600.

And CrossfireX.... going to be so great with those 8.3 Catalyst drivers...

Erm.... nuff sed.
March 14, 2008 6:13:31 AM

If you can wait, wait for the 4850 or 4870. Nordic Hardware says they're arriving in June, and that the 4870 will be 50% faster than a 3870. That's a single GPU card as fast as my factory overclocked 3870x2!

http://www.nordichardware.com/index.php?news=1&action=m...

If you can't wait, get the one that works for you. Once I went to a GPU that exhausts air out of the case, I never wanted to go back to a GPU that simply has a normal fan; even if it's a good one like a Zalman.

dev1se said:
We all heard this, about this time last year about the R600.

And CrossfireX.... going to be so great with those 8.3 Catalyst drivers...

Erm.... nuff sed.


At least you didn't just say "buy an 8800gt", so you may not be an Nvidia fan down on ATI. Well, I agree that 8.3 hasn't met CrossfireX expectations (I'd be happy to see Crossfire support in LOTR online), but the difference between R600 and R700 is that the X2900XT was launched too early. Probably because of the AMD merger.

The 3870 is what the X2900XT should have been from day one. Since the 3850, 3870 and 3870x2 are good cards, I expect more of the 4850, 4870 and 4870x2 than I did when the 3870 was announced. Then, I was worried that ATI would flub it.

Now, the flubbing seems to be on Nvidia's side with a slight improvement 9800gtx and a two PCB monster that might be another 7950; the 9800gx2. R700 for ATI is a big deal. Nvidia's holding back on G100 until AMD releases R700.

Whatever happened to the regulatory investigation on price fixing between ATI and Nvidia? They may not actually fix prices, but they hold back on tech until the other side releases something better than current models. What ever happened to new cards with significant improvements every 6 months?
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2008 10:53:41 AM

bluekoala said:
I wouldn't suggest buying a 9600gt before seeing what r700 has to offer, you may end up kicking yourself in the arse.
Well, I only have a 19" LCD Monitor running at 1280x1024 resolution. I am not going to be able to appreciate anything over 60 fraps with my monitor. Both the HD3870 and 9600GT run most of todays games above that level. If I wait for the R700 in June and buy it in June I am going to be paying a premium for it. It will take until August in order for prices to drop to bargain levels like they will be this month or next month. I can understand why the guy who started this thread wants to get a card this month too.
March 15, 2008 2:39:06 AM

RWayne just get the 3870. It will run CNC3 no problem. :D 
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2008 10:08:57 AM

I want to get that OC 9600GT from MSI:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is 7% faster than the standard clocked 9600GT. Which with AA/AF enabled to max it is faster than the HD3870.
It has an AWESOME HEATSINK which makes it run cool and silent.

Only $154.99 after rebate ($174 before rebate) and I have had great results with MSI rebates in the past.

It has 19 reviews on newegg and every single one of the 19 reviewers gave it 5 eggs. I never seen a card before with that high of an approval rating (percentage wise)

Look at this 20 page review on tweaktown:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1328/msi_geforce_n9600...

On MSI site they say it is 15% slower than their MSI 8800GT (which is clocked at 660MHz instead of the standard 600MHz reference clock) and only costs 2/3rds the price. However with the rebate the cost is even less than that.

I like ATI cards but the price / performance ratio of this card is seriously making me think of turing back to Nvidia again. No card ATI has is even close to it on the price to performance ratio. If so show me.
March 15, 2008 9:11:23 PM

Its a good card but One thing that would worry me is 64 shaders might not be enough to run future games that are shader intensive. Look at the 8800GT, it has 112 and is only 15% faster means something to me....

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/21/nvidia_geforce_9...

Here the 3870 stays about 10 - 15% ahead with AA
In AA it evened out.

But you can go with the 9600GT, its still a really good card.
You should if you are trying to save money too.

If you can dish out $40 bucks get this 8800GT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has a similar cooler to the 9600GT and 201 reviews with 88% 5 eggs.
Thats 176.88 5 eggs. and the rest are 4 eggs.
Better ratio?


For me Im just waiting for cards like the 3850 or 9600GT to come to about $100.

Oh don't always trust what they say at the website. :]
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2008 11:02:55 PM

This is a good discussion.

The thing that gets me is how big of a lead that the HD3870 gets over the 9600GT when AA/AF are turned off. It just amazes me how AA/AF kills the performance of the HD3870 when they are turned on. To me that would seem like a driver issue. I really hope that Catalyst 8.4 will bridge this gap. It would make by buying decision a lot easier.

But...if it is a driver issue then why did the 9600GT have AA/AF perfected on it's initial release with no forceware updates?

I think the HD3870 is a better piece of hardware.

With all things being even I always favor ATI.

The only thing drawing me to the 9600GT is:
1. It is made by a really good company MSI
2. The Cooler looks like it would make it super quiet which is a major plus in my mind
3. It is double slot and would fan hot air out.

If it were not for that and the price I think I would go with an HD3870 and it would not be a hard decision at all.

Sigh! my mind is still not 100% made up. I got an X-fire motherboard and a 700Watt Game Stream PSU which is X-Fire certified. My thought is I could X-Fire down the road but why bother to do that when in June I could buy a single R700 card for around the same price that would be as fast as two RV670 cards.

The gamer’s dilemma.
March 16, 2008 3:22:33 AM

ive got a hd3870 single slot card and its great!

its not noisy at all to me! ive not noticed an increase in sound between that and my old x1950pro! the temps are great too, never seen it over 55!

it plays every game ive got maxed out with full AA/AF i dx9 no problem! (stalker, FEAR, oblivion etc) @1680/1050 but im slightly disappointed in its dx10 performance at that res if im honest. ive never bothered lowering the res though so i couldnt comment any more on that.

having said that it isnt the most expensive card around!
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2008 3:32:07 AM

I don't think any DX10 video card owner is happy with their DX10 performance. The technology is ahead of the hardware. It is going to take another year or so before video cards are out that will allow you to play games like Crysis at 60 Fraps in DX10 mode.

I am still mulling over ATI vs Nvidia. I think I am just going to sit it out until April when the prices should begin to get really good.

The lowest price 9600GT on newegg right now is $149 with out rebate. I can't wait for ATI to counter that move.

NordicHardware.com has an article that states that AMD is going to have a price cut on nearly all of their processors on April 7th. This is inresponse to Intel's annouced price cuts on April 20th.

I am curious if they will slash the prices of the HD38XX cards the same day.
March 16, 2008 3:36:36 AM

ive played through the demo of crysis on v.high setting without it stuttering, but there is lag, but playable throughout the demo never the less!
March 16, 2008 3:39:01 AM

oh yeah meant to say it plays call of juarez on max in dx10 mode with no lag at all and it looks great!!
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2008 3:40:33 AM

What does everyone think about the A12 revisions for the HD38XX cards that are coming in April or May?

Do you think ATI will keep the same names HD3850 & HD3870 or do you think they will change them to something else like the HD3950 and the HD3970?

When those new faster A12 cards come out I wonder if they will discount the old A11s.

I can't wait for next month. A lot of exciting stuff happening.
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2008 11:37:19 AM

zhaf,

Have you ever looked at the HIS Radeon HD 3850 IceQ3 Turbo?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Per HIS' website it states that it runs 4% faster than the standard clocked HD3870. And it has a VERY nice cooler on it. Only produces 21 Dba of sound and runs cool also. I think it is a much better product than what Sapphire has to offer.

Look at this review:
http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...
It even won an award from Fudzilla and beat out the HD3870 by over 200 points in the 3DMark06 test.

Here is the manufacturer's page:
http://hisdigital.com/html/iceq_3850.html

Why get a Sapphire HD3870 when this HIS HD3850 IceQ Turbo is cooler, quieter, and runs faster?

I am probably going to get this now instead of the 9600GT. I think the blue/blue card/cooler combination looks really good along with the cooper on it and the gold plated DVI ports. I heard the cooler is even UV light reactive.

March 16, 2008 1:10:46 PM

Remember dude both the 9600GT and the 3850 have been OCed. That is probably the reason why they are faster than the 3870.
Tell me, if you get this card or the 9600GT right now, Will you get a RV770 in the fall/winter? (when the price settles)

Oh and did you not see this 3870 IceQ for $189??
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or a slower 3850IceQ for $169
Its only 15mhz slower on the gpu than the turboX version. ( the one you showed)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2008 2:53:21 PM

I did see the faster HD3870 for $189 but I also saw a bunch of complaints about how the fan is not running as fast as it should and several people had the card over heat. The HD3850 is overclocked as it is so I don't see the need to push it further.

Right now all Three of the IceQ HD38XX cards are priced at $189. Only the slowest has a $20 rebate.

With all things being equal it would makes sense to go with the HD3870 over the HD3850.

However considering that the lowest priced 9600GT is only $149 right now I am sure Newegg is going to lower their prices next month on these IceQ cards.

If the price of the HD3850 drops a good amount under the HD3870 then I will buy it.

Until then I am going to be on standby for about the next 45 days.
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2008 2:57:00 PM

I just looked at the rebate information for the slower clocked HIS 3850 card and it appears that all of the HD38XX cards have rebates right now. The HD3870 even has a $30 rebate however new egg is not advertising it. I wonder why?

http://images10.newegg.com/UploadFilesForNewegg/rebate/...

The rebate expires 3/31/08
March 16, 2008 4:02:25 PM

rwayne said:
I did see the faster HD3870 for $189 but I also saw a bunch of complaints about how the fan is not running as fast as it should and several people had the card over heat. The HD3850 is overclocked as it is so I don't see the need to push it further.

Right now all Three of the IceQ HD38XX cards are priced at $189. Only the slowest has a $20 rebate.

With all things being equal it would makes sense to go with the HD3870 over the HD3850.

However considering that the lowest priced 9600GT is only $149 right now I am sure Newegg is going to lower their prices next month on these IceQ cards.

If the price of the HD3850 drops a good amount under the HD3870 then I will buy it.

Until then I am going to be on standby for about the next 45 days.

I think thats a good I idea.
Well remember that fan problem is fixed by flashing the bios. Well you can push the 3850 IceQ thats $169 more.
So I saw that rebate thing, does that mean everything has another rebate, so the 3870 IceQ is $159 AFR?
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2008 11:24:03 AM

YEAH!!!!! HD3870 PRICE DROP!!!!!

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Quote:
American HD 3870 to drop to $159
Written by Fuad Abazovic
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 08:27


To be cheaper than 9600GT

ATI will soon launch a new program that will drop the prices of Radeon HD 3870 512MB cards all the way down to $159, while the HD 3850 will drop to $145. As far as we know this should start as of today or by tomorrow, at the latest.

ATI wants to be more affordable than 9600GT and the current bargain Radeon HD 3870 card sells for $179.99.

Even at $179.99 it is a good price, but when the card slips down to $159 it will instantly become even more attractive. Once HD 3850 drops to $145 it will end up as $10 to $15 cheaper than 9600GT and it looks that this is the public enemy number one.


March 19, 2008 11:06:33 PM

The 3850 should drop even more.
!