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Tom's New Reference System

Graphics: Gigabyte GV-RX385512H, Radeon HD3850

The graphics card has always been an item that spurs emotional discussion. We did not look for the best and the latest here, but rather a reliable and reasonable workhorse that is capable of serving us for the upcoming months. Our choice was a card based on ATI's Radeon HD3000 series, and we found a suitable product in the Gigabyte portfolio: the GV-RX385512H. The GPU cooler differentiates this product from other cards, as Gigabyte equips the RX385512H with a Zalman cooler.

The RV670-based graphics card operates at a 670 MHz core clock speed with 512 MB DDR3 memory running at 1,660 MHz in DDR mode (830 MHz base clock speed). The 55 nm, 666 million transistor Radeon HD3850 core supports Shader Model 4.1 and hence is DirectX 10.1 compliant. More importantly, these products already utilize PCI Express 2.0, which doubles the bandwidth of PCI Express 1.1. Typically, this is not yet necessary for stand-alone graphics cards, as the 4 GB/s upstream and downstream at x16 PCI Express 1.1 are still sufficient for most graphics cards. However, a motherboard with 16 PCI Express 2.0 lanes will provide the same bandwidth as a more complex model based on 32 PCI Express 1.1 lanes.

The Radeon HD3850 can be considered the most energy-efficient upper mainstream 3D solution available today, as you can see in our review, AMD Radeon HD 3800: ATI Strikes Back. While other high-end cards require almost 100 W while idle, this card stays under 100 W under full load.

  • prodevel
    I happened to buy smart or dumb enough to pretty much buy this rig a few - several months after it came out... I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game
    Reply
  • prodevel
    *I bought this rig several months ago and have LOVED it. I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game.*

    THANKS!

    Not sure what happened there w/the prev...
    Reply
  • Hothr
    Why do you use awful color schemes like this in your graphs? Yesterday's $1,250 machine benchmark graphs were the first I had actually been able to easily read. Light/Dark + Blue/Green/Red makes SO much sense. I can easily tell which system is which, and which bar is the overclocked bar. Blue, Green, Red, Purple shows no information on whether it is overclocked or not, and does not provide an easy way to tell which system is which.
    To make things worse, the key at the bottom of every graph (that I have to look at every time) is always in a different order.

    Can we please have more graphs like the $1,250 build?
    Reply
  • Hothr
    wrong article, sorry.
    Reply