dgood wrote:cool, definatly not topping the charts a single card, but that could be a nice card for a home theater or something with the video decoder as you mentioned. I'm actually curious to see how much that speed boost for the 3870 will help. I think that is the card that will be competing closly with the 880gt as it'll be cheaper, but also a little slower is that a safe assumption? Well done once again, and I also liked the bit about the 92C on the single slot cooler. Any aftermarket coolers you can review along with one of those to see if that helps (assuming it's single slot too, do they do that?).?
Well, I just found out something very interesting after a few drinks with some key ATI people... It seems the cards I was given are the worst case scenario when it comes to temperatures and and power consumption. The RV670 core that is used on the 3850 and 3870 needs 1.3V to hit the clock frequencies that ATI has them rated at. The yields that are starting to come in now are better than the original ones and they can hit the mark with just 1.0V... This means less wattage, 30 watts less! With the decrease in voltage will also come lower temps. Now, I have to give ATI props on this one because they have enough 1.0V cores out there to sample the media, but those buying the cards wouldn't be getting what was being reviewed. They could have pulled a quick one, but didn't. Once the lower voltage cores come out in in the weeks ahead the part will be even better. It already has great performance per watt, but when you shave 30W off it's going to be hands down the best. The GeForce 8800 GT 256/512 has nothing on it in this respect.
I've had the chance to take a look at a number of cards over the past week that have had a number of cooling solutions...
Palit for example designed their own PCB... It has HDMI on the board along with VGA and DVI, which is interesting. To top it off they have their own custom made cooler on it. Not to mention it comes bundled with the Laura Croft tomb raider game bundle.
Gigabyte will also have a custom PCB design, so performance on the Palit and Gigabyte boards should be interesting as they might differ a bit from the other brands, which is good.
If you read through the entire article you might remember the part about the passively cooled Radeon HD 3850 by Sapphire... Here are pictures of the front and back of that card. It's actually really light weight as none of it is copper from the looks of it.
With the 1.0V RV670 core the Radeon 3850 with passive cooling will be awesome in a HTPC. Expect to see some HTPC testing in the coming weeks.