ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

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ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:32 am

ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 video card (known internally as the R680) was first seen by the world right here on Legit Reviews a few months ago and was again spotted at CES 2008, where the the retail card was seen. Everyone knew that the launch was close, but today is the day that the card is officially announced. The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 is a single-board with multiple-GPUs on it, which is why the card is so interesting.

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The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card delivers up to twice the Gigaflops per watt of previous generations of high-end AMD GPUs as it is basically two ATI Radeon HD 3870 cores on one card. This means that the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 video card should deliver twice as much performance and all the specifications remain the same. It should be noted that the Radeon HD 3870 X2 has enough math processing muscle to break the 1 TeraFLOPS mark!


Article Title: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/656/1/
MSRP: $449
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby maj0r_pawnage » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:29 am

sign me up, im getting one as soon as da paycheck comes in (two days)

Who wants to buy an 8800gts :D
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby DMB2000uk » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:44 pm

mmm... crossfire x...
mmm... heating your whole house with just your graphics cards...

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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby maj0r_pawnage » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:53 pm

I can't seem to find any crossfire reviews? Whats up?
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:56 pm

maj0r_pawnage wrote:I can't seem to find any crossfire reviews? Whats up?


Well this is 'technically' CrossFire... It's two RV680 Cores on one board with a PCI Express Switch on the PCB that links the two together... That is CrossFire in a nutshell.

As I stated in the very last line of the article...

When ATI releases CrossFireX drivers and a pair of these can be run together it should get really interesting, but by then I'm sure NVIDIA will have an answer on our door step.


You can't run two together to have what they call CrossFireX (not CrossFire) until they release the drivers for this... If I had to guess we are about a month or so away from this taking place. ATI has had Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics cards up and running since early November, so they are already 2-3 months into development. NVIDIA couldn't get quad-sli to work right from what I was told from internal sources, so it should be interesting to see what they come up with now on the GeForce 9 series and Radeon 3 series.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby skier » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:07 pm

nice review, i wonder how much less an X2 will cost as apposed to 3870s in crossfire, for nearly identicle performance
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:21 pm

skierkid450 wrote:nice review, i wonder how much less an X2 will cost as apposed to 3870s in crossfire, for nearly identicle performance


As I stated in the article the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 graphics card has an MSRP of $449

If you look at PriceGrabber a single ATI Radeon 3870 will set you back about $239.99, so a pair will run you $479.98. If you really search around you can find Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards for less as Microcenter has Visiontek Radeon HD3870 512MB PCI Express DirectX 10.1 video cards for $192 + $6 S/H = $198 each. A pair of the VisionTek cards runs $383.98 plus $6.98 shipping, so it would be $390.96 out the door for a pair in CrossFire, which is $60 cheaper and as you noticed roughly the same level of performance. On an Intel P35 or X38 motherboard for example this would mean you can no longer upgrade, but with a Radeon HD 3870 X2 you'd only use up one slot and can do CrossFireX later... But who know how good and solid the CrossFireX drivers will be.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby DX » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:53 pm

What are the odds that this is just going to end like the Nvidia 7950?
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby skier » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:26 pm

Apoptosis wrote:As I stated in the article the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 graphics card has an MSRP of $449


ahh, sorry, didnt even notice(not like every review has a msrp price right under the link to the review #-o )

the review over at [H] doesnt make the card look close to the 8800 GTX, but here and Tom's hardware both put it right above the ultra, any ideas why? because all three appear to be identicle cards

Tom's COD4 @1920x1200

[H] COD4 1920x1200

your COD4 @ 1920x1200
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:35 pm

I can't speak for the others, but I used FRAPS to benchmark the full retail version of the game with patch version 1.2. I benchmark utility on the first level of the game after the helicopter drops you off on the cargo tanker. I take an average of three 120 second runs to get the scores I used. I attached a screen shot of the exact settings I'm using if you'd like to take a look. I stand behind the numbers I took 100% as I've re-tested these cards on 7.10/7.11 and 8.1 drivers now and a number of Forceware drivers.

Remember since everyone is using FRAPS in different parts of the games you will not and can not compare numbers from various sites. I personally use the cargo ship scene to benchmark the game as it's outdoors and has a bunch of stuff going on at once.

cod4_settings.jpg
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby w00fd06 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:43 pm

:shock: if i tried it at those settings, my computer would freeze for a minute before the next frame loaded
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby skier » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:24 pm

w00fd06 wrote::shock: if i tried it at those settings, my computer would freeze for a minute before the next frame loaded


well, you dont have a top of the line Quad-core, or 3870 X2 or 8800 Ultra now do you? ](*,)
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby maj0r_pawnage » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:56 pm

Do you guys actually get to keep the cards they send you? Or do you have to send em back once testing is done.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby KnightRid » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:06 am

skierkid450 wrote:nice review, i wonder how much less an X2 will cost as apposed to 3870s in crossfire, for nearly identicle performance


Its not about that - you can run say 2 3870's in crossifre to have 2 gpus running ( yes I know 4 of them can do crossfire, but using 2 as an example :p ), but if you run 2 of the 3870X2's you essentially have 4 gpus running in the same space as the aforementioned.

THAT I believe is the big deal with the X2 cards! yo ucan have 8 gpus running in a system with 4-way crossfire! I would imagine if you start with one X2 now, and keep adding as you need them for performance - you could have a graphic system that would last a couple years running at high settings rather tahn a year at the most. Guessing on all that, but from personal experience this seems to be the case.

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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:40 am

KnightRid wrote:
skierkid450 wrote:nice review, i wonder how much less an X2 will cost as apposed to 3870s in crossfire, for nearly identicle performance


Its not about that - you can run say 2 3870's in crossifre to have 2 gpus running ( yes I know 4 of them can do crossfire, but using 2 as an example :p ), but if you run 2 of the 3870X2's you essentially have 4 gpus running in the same space as the aforementioned.

THAT I believe is the big deal with the X2 cards! yo ucan have 8 gpus running in a system with 4-way crossfire! I would imagine if you start with one X2 now, and keep adding as you need them for performance - you could have a graphic system that would last a couple years running at high settings rather tahn a year at the most. Guessing on all that, but from personal experience this seems to be the case.

Mike


Nope, you got that mixed up a bit... Remember what I said at the bottom of page one...

Image
The single CrossFireX interconnect can be seen above and is for when two of these are paired together. Since it has just one CrossFireX interconnect just two of the cards can be run together, so don't think you can buy four Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphic cards for CrossFireX with 8 GPUs!


With just one CrossFire interconnect it's only possible to run two of these cards together.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby maj0r_pawnage » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:30 am

+ that wouldn't last :P, r700 is gunna have a few cores on each PCB O:, and you can crossfire x them , or should be able to, so the 3870x2 is just holding ATI over until they can finish the r700.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby FeRaL » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:38 pm

Great review. I would have liked to have seen how a Pheonom system with this card would have compared to the Intell CPU you used. That would be an anesome match up.

Any chance we can get this?
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:01 pm

FeRaL wrote:Great review. I would have liked to have seen how a Pheonom system with this card would have compared to the Intell CPU you used. That would be an anesome match up.

Any chance we can get this?


I can do that in another article if you can tell me what readers could get out of it that they don't already know from my previous articles.. Unless you are wanting to see how an AMD chipset, AMD CPU and AMD GPU do versus an Intel chipset, Intel CPU and AMD GPU...

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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby mr_noname111 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:14 pm

Anyone see a review of two of these in quad crossfire? I'd like to see how they handle crysis ;)
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:23 pm

mr_noname111 wrote:Anyone see a review of two of these in quad crossfire? I'd like to see how they handle crysis ;)


Nope... the CrossFireX drivers are not out yet.
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