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3850 256M vs. 3850 512M

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March 25, 2008 4:54:18 PM

Folks,

I'm recently looked at a sweet deal from New Egg for a Saphire 3850 w/256M for $137. I'm not a real heavy gamer, but I do want the best bang for the buck. Problem is that a 512M version appears to be almost $30 more. Does the extra performance command this price?

Thanks,



Rick

More about : 3850 256m 3850 512m

March 25, 2008 5:18:43 PM

Go for the 512MB version. many games now benefit from the extra memory even if u play @ resolutions lower than 1600x1200
March 25, 2008 5:33:11 PM

If you are a low res gamer you won't notice much of a difference. If you are at 1024x768 or 1280x1024 it would be fine. I always opt for the 512MB but if you are trying to go cheap and don't game much and rather save $30 just get the 256MB version. Get what you can get and be happy.
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March 25, 2008 5:40:56 PM

jay2tall said:
If you are a low res gamer you won't notice much of a difference. If you are at 1024x768 or 1280x1024 it would be fine. I always opt for the 512MB but if you are trying to go cheap and don't game much and rather save $30 just get the 256MB version. Get what you can get and be happy.

Hmm, I might be upgrading to a 1080p LCD. Would that be pushing it?

Thanks,


Rick
March 25, 2008 6:10:39 PM

rhorwitz said:
Hmm, I might be upgrading to a 1080p LCD. Would that be pushing it?

Thanks,


Rick

With 256mb, yes I tihnk it would be for pretty much any game.
March 25, 2008 6:26:35 PM

If you want to drive a 1080P lcd that is 1900x1080. You may want the 512MB for that one. If you want to play games you will need more horsepower than the 3850 though. Well technically no but you will have to lower graphics settings a bit.
March 25, 2008 6:33:05 PM

Even if you weren't to upgrade your monitor I think you'll struggle with games released later in the year. Basically 256Mb has had it's day as the 'standard' GFx size.
March 25, 2008 7:13:47 PM

LOL at Crusoe's avatar. Love it!!!

1080p will be pushing it indeed. Even the 512MB 3850 will find that tough in some games. Spend that additional $30, it's well worth it.
March 25, 2008 7:24:22 PM

CAT FISH!
March 25, 2008 7:27:18 PM

If you are planning on 1080P gaming, I'd forget both of those. You can get an IceQ HD3870 512MB for $170. Well worth the money over a $167 512MB 3850.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or get the MSI for $5 cheaper AR and the Witcher for free.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm kinda keen on the iceQ's myself. :) 


Alright, another edit. The ice Q HD3850 512MB for $133 AR:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 25, 2008 7:38:26 PM

jay2tall said:
CAT FISH!

Meow.

Agreed, a 3870 is the way to go @ 1920x1080 for pretty much any game, and in some games may still not be powerful enough if you like to crank up the eye candy and detail settings.
March 25, 2008 7:45:45 PM

If you can wait, wait for June when the 4850, 4870 and 4870x2 arrive. That should drop prices of the 512 meg version of the 3850 if you still want it.

If you need it now, the 256 meg version looks like a steal. That way, you can buy the next gen card when you can afford without too much guilt.

The main reason for having 512 megs over 256 is it allows for higher textures to be loaded during games. Some games benefit from high textures, others do not.

March 25, 2008 8:29:44 PM

Folks, Thanks for all the great advice. I think I'm going to put the 1080p TV and 512 Meg option on hold and in the meantime enjoy the std 256Meg 3850 on my existing 720p TV.

My postponement is based on a few reasons: 1) PC gaming is currently being affected by the game console. 2) Blue Ray drives have not budged yet on price since they won over HD DVD. 3) My 42" Toshiba LCD 720p only a year old and it's not broken yet ;-). Alas, my biggest reason is that I fell in love with this carbon bike road frame, and my current ride is over 20 years old. -I'll see what develops next year when the 8800 GTX are priced under $200.

BTW- Neccessities are always NEEDS, but toys are always WANTS.

Regards,

Rick
March 25, 2008 9:34:25 PM

You'd really buy the plain 256MB HD3850 for $131 vs the His IceQ Turbo model for $133 AR (+$7 shipping)? Do you need a single slot cooler? Ice Q coolers are quiet and perform well, plus you get 512MB and higher clock speeds. I'd gladly mail in a rebate to get that iceQ 512MB for almost the same price.

Are we talking this one for $131 AR?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If so it's less than $2 more and the same rebate to get a much better card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Better cooler, 512MB, and much higher clock speeds out of the box.
March 25, 2008 9:54:33 PM

rhorwitz said:
Alas, my biggest reason is that I fell in love with this carbon bike road frame, and my current ride is over 20 years old.

What frame? (just curious) I'm riding a '92 Schwinn that's still in excellent condition, so I'm kinda in the same boat with the old bike. It's actually pretty light for it's day (7000 series aluminum frame, Shimano components, etc).

My other bike is a '96 Raleigh M60 mountain bike, it's a beast at ~27 lbs, but hasn't let me down (yet). Alivio/STX components, Shimano v-brakes (upgraded from the factory caliper brakes), full rigid. Nice to know someone else around here digs bikes. Happy riding!
March 25, 2008 10:17:38 PM

I used to be bigtime into Mt. Biking but last couple years it's been collecting dust. :(  Mine's an old Trek ZX series 970 with all Deore XT components. It was 24.5 Lbs as purchased, but then I added Judy XC's to it and increased the weight. My dream at the time was the superlight trek 9900 OCLV Hardtail. *drool*
March 25, 2008 11:02:45 PM

I don't think you'll have too much of a problem with 256MB VRAM with that 720p TV. ATIs cards suffer alot less with minimal VRAM than Nvidia's value-for-money offerings. OTOH, double the VRAM and the nvidia card comes out on top (talking the 8800gt 256mb vs 512mb mostly here).
March 25, 2008 11:14:01 PM

Did anyone see what ASUS is working on???

An HD3850x3!!! THREE RV670 chips on one board! WOW!

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

It is a neat engineering feat but it is hard to get excited about it when the R700 coming in June is projected to be anywhere from 50% to 100% faster than the current RV670 chips.

One HD4870 card may very well beat out this HD3850X3 with likely half the energy consumption.
March 25, 2008 11:15:14 PM

Why bother... seriously?
March 25, 2008 11:32:48 PM

randomizer said:
Why bother... seriously?
Because MORE must mean that it is BETTER!

March 25, 2008 11:48:16 PM

crusoe74 said:
Even if you weren't to upgrade your monitor I think you'll struggle with games released later in the year. Basically 256Mb has had it's day as the 'standard' GFx size.


This is true. Games like Oblivion and Crysis love more video memory due to larger textures being used even at lower resolutions. Heck I saw a mod for Oblivion that would replace the background textures with much higher quality 2560x2560(not sure if thts right res). It was suggested only for those with 256meg+ video cards as a minimum and 512+ were the best ones for it.
March 26, 2008 12:14:25 AM

Passengers are allowed as carry-on luggage to stow away a 5 gallon gas canister under the seat in front of them or in the overhead compartment as needed in the fore and aft sections of the aircraft.

The gas canisters may only be removed during flight when the pilot turns on the low fuel sign.
March 26, 2008 5:57:36 PM

Thanks again for the suggestions.

As for the His IceQ Turbo 3850, the reviews indicate bugs in the firmware and quality of PCBA build (DOAs and early fails). I almost chose the Diamond Viper 3850PE3512O, but the heatsink appeared much differenct from the reference design.

As for my current bike, it is an original ST500 Cannondale '93 vintage. I'm looking at a Taiwanese built Carbon frame with a Motobecane label (Immortal?) for ~700 usd.



March 26, 2008 6:34:33 PM

Just one suggestion from someone who buys many cards a month, year after year. Don't put too much faith in newegg user reviews. Sure they can prove useful, but plenty of RMA'd cards are just fine and the problem is user error or system related, not GPU related. Do what you like, it's your money. But an iceQ turbo 512MB for the cost of a plain HIS 256MB is a no brainer in my eyes. Besides, the iceQ actually has the better overall customer rating. My $0.02 anyway.
March 26, 2008 8:02:27 PM

rhorwitz said:
As for my current bike, it is an original ST500 Cannondale '93 vintage. I'm looking at a Taiwanese built Carbon frame with a Motobecane label (Immortal?) for ~700 usd.

Ah, the good ol' days of Cannondale, when substance in terms of design, weight and build quality ruled. I miss those days. They're so much more commercialized and gimmick-y now (as well as outrageously overpriced).
March 26, 2008 8:08:11 PM

Somebody who pays $150 for a video card and $700 for a bike should be in a different forum IMO. rhorwitz, are you sure we can't interest you in a nice $600 SLI setup? That would leave $250 for a pretty decent bike :) 
March 26, 2008 8:16:23 PM

aevm said:
$250 for a pretty decent bike :) 

Obviously someone not into cycling.
LOL
March 26, 2008 8:42:45 PM

bike? like excite bike? $250 is far too much to pay for even the most pristine copy of Excite Bike.
March 26, 2008 9:02:28 PM

aevm said:
LOL at Crusoe's avatar. Love it!!!


Thanks mate. :D 
March 26, 2008 9:49:33 PM

aevm said:
Somebody who pays $150 for a video card and $700 for a bike should be in a different forum IMO. rhorwitz, are you sure we can't interest you in a nice $600 SLI setup? That would leave $250 for a pretty decent bike :) 

:lol: 

Hey good suggestion! Here at Tom's we like look out for people and make sure they get the most for their money. For $250 he could probably find a nice 40 LB. bike. Pound for pound, that's way more bike for the money vs. an 850 gram frame for $700. :sol: 
March 26, 2008 10:05:21 PM

With that kind of price I would just opt for a 8800gt instead.

384mb 8800gs isn't bad either. You can't go wrong with $110 after rebate. It can easily outperform 3850 256mb.
March 26, 2008 10:12:25 PM

yipsl said:
If you can wait, wait for June when the 4850, 4870 and 4870x2 arrive. That should drop prices of the 512 meg version of the 3850 if you still want it.

If you need it now, the 256 meg version looks like a steal. That way, you can buy the next gen card when you can afford without too much guilt.

The main reason for having 512 megs over 256 is it allows for higher textures to be loaded during games. Some games benefit from high textures, others do not.


The only 2 games to choke the most seems to be Crysis and WIC especially with AA.
March 26, 2008 11:26:27 PM

rhorwitz said:
Thanks again for the suggestions.

As for the His IceQ Turbo 3850, the reviews indicate bugs in the firmware and quality of PCBA build (DOAs and early fails). I almost chose the Diamond Viper 3850PE3512O, but the heatsink appeared much differenct from the reference design.

As for my current bike, it is an original ST500 Cannondale '93 vintage. I'm looking at a Taiwanese built Carbon frame with a Motobecane label (Immortal?) for ~700 usd.
I think you really need to research in what you are getting with the HIS HD3850 IceQ Turbo. First off it is overclocked and in most benchmarks beats out the reference design HD3870 by 4% or better. So for the price of an HD3850 are are getting 4% greater performance than a standard HD3870.

Most of the negative reviews I have seen on newegg appear to be rookie mistakes:
- Not uninstalling the Nvidia software first
- Not understanding that you have to install the Microsoft .NET Framework programs for Catalyst to work
- Not having a strong enough power supply
- Wrong Drivers
- Not having adquate ventalation for a high performance video card

Any of these things could give a user the impression the card was dead on arrival.

I would have no hesitation picking up one of these cards. The HIS IceQ series are some of the coolest and quietest cards on the market. And Amazing 22 Dba of sound from the fan. You are not going to find another ATI card like that. It is much better than a loud Sapphire card that has toothpicks for fan blades that runs at very high speeds as exhausts hot air inside your case instead of quietly outside of your case like the HIS IceQ turbo series.

If you read the reviews of professional websites from industry 'experts' they really rave about this card.

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

3DGameman.com rates the HD3870 IceQ it as a 100% KICKASS product
Watch this video review then tell me what you think:
http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/11684/103/
March 27, 2008 1:53:24 AM

The 512MB HD3850 iceQ turbo price went up. bummer.
March 27, 2008 2:02:47 AM

That is very temporary.

AMD is already planning a price cut on the HD38XX series.

Nvidia is not selling 9600GTs as well as they thought hey would because people are still going after the 8800GTs for just a little more pocket change. This should motiviate them to drop the 9600GT prices which in turn will bring the HD38XX prices down even further.

Plus you got the HD38XX A12 revisions that are coming out next month or in May which should help prices of the current A11s
March 27, 2008 3:26:41 AM

richenbals said:
bike? like excite bike? $250 is far too much to pay for even the most pristine copy of Excite Bike.

I still have my NES and Excite Bike. I loved that game, especially when you plug Game Genie into it and do a customized course and ramp all the way out the top of the screen, back to the bottom. Good times!
March 27, 2008 4:53:04 AM

rwayne said:
AMD is already planning a price cut on the HD38XX series.

I'll believe it when I see it. I'm still waiting for the price cut a few months ago.
March 27, 2008 10:03:26 AM

WHAT!!! Did you miss it?

The Tuesday before the release of the GeForce 9600GT AMD dropped the MSRP of the HD3870 from $219 to $189. They even made a press release.

I kept track of the pricing and the HD3870 dropped in price by $60 with in 21 days on newegg.com from Jan to Feb.

AMD was suppose to annouce their price cut last week but it did not happen. If it does not happen today I am sure it will with in the next 2 weeks.

I checked out some benchmarks last night.
Did you know that the HD3870 beats out an x1950XTX in almost every benchmark by about 5 fraps? Considering the price and energy consumption of an HD3870 vs that of a x1950XTX I think the HD3870 is a good deal.
March 27, 2008 11:29:55 AM

The His iceQ HD3870 for $169 no rebates on Newegg a few days ago was a shock to me. Price had dropped big overnight.
March 27, 2008 4:48:00 PM

marvelous211 said:
The only 2 games to choke the most seems to be Crysis and WIC especially with AA.


Also, CoH seems very jerky when you've added the DX10 patch. Frame rates plummet by up to 70%.

March 27, 2008 7:21:15 PM

crusoe74 said:
Also, CoH seems very jerky when you've added the DX10 patch. Frame rates plummet by up to 70%.


Yeah Dx10 takes a huge plummet with COH which really doesn't add anything special to the graphics. Nothing is worse than trying to play Crysis or WIC with any kind of AA with 256mb card though. It literally becomes a slide show. 3850 seems to fair off better than Nvidia's 256mb cards however with Crysis at least.
March 27, 2008 10:46:19 PM

marvelous211 said:
Yeah Dx10 takes a huge plummet with COH which really doesn't add anything special to the graphics. Nothing is worse than trying to play Crysis or WIC with any kind of AA with 256mb card though. It literally becomes a slide show. 3850 seems to fair off better than Nvidia's 256mb cards however with Crysis at least.


Isn't that just because developers haven't got to grips with DX10 yet and are releasing clumsy patches coupled with the fact that current drivers haven't maximised DX10 capabilities?

Shouldn't future Gfx drivers minimize this FPS hit?
March 28, 2008 2:51:00 PM

crusoe74 said:
Isn't that just because developers haven't got to grips with DX10 yet and are releasing clumsy patches coupled with the fact that current drivers haven't maximised DX10 capabilities?

Shouldn't future Gfx drivers minimize this FPS hit?


Funny thing is ATI's 8.3 Cat drivers improved everything in Vista, took performance in XP though.

Also there is a 15% performance increase on Crysis DX10 and I can vouch for it.

So yes future GFX drivers should provide DX10 performance increases. I think CoH was another that Cat 8.3 improved by about 20%.
!