ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

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ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Apoptosis » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:26 pm

ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

When it comes mixing and matching different types of graphics card and running them in either SLI or CrossFire mode you are bound to have a number of problems. You will not find too many people advising in trying this, but the video card companies are working hard at making this work. Today, we are looking at ATI's budget friendly Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards to seeing how they work together in CrossFire.

Image

Having a mixed up CrossFire configuration performed better than expected and was able to near the performance level of other high end ATI CrossFire setups. This goes to show that ATI has made great improvements to their CATALYST drivers as taking an ATI Radeon HD 3870 and running it in CrossFire mode with an ATI Radeon HD 3850 was found to be stable and offered great improvements over a single card of either model. How many people will actually try this has yet to be seen, but this is an easy way to cut costs and improve performance...


Article Title: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/663/1/
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby bubba » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:49 pm

Trying out the mad scientist hat tonight were we??

22136432.jpg
22136432.jpg (37.98 KiB) Viewed 28585 times



I would have thought that the system would not have behaved anywhere near nicely with mismatched cards like that, I would have lost money on that bet.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Alathald » Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:06 pm

Wow, I don't know how you can whip such thorough reviews up so quickly while also running a contest but that's why you're the man! Good read, they perform right where they should for the price, which is amazing for mismatched cards. The only thing that bemuses me is why the 3870CrossFire outperforms the 3870X2 in COD4 while the 3870X2 edges out in front with pretty much everything else... :-k
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby FeRaL » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:12 am

Alathald wrote:Wow, I don't know how you can whip such thorough reviews up so quickly while also running a contest but that's why you're the man! Good read, they perform right where they should for the price, which is amazing for mismatched cards.


No kidding, you have this down to a science. Thanks for going though all this at my request. I really appreciate the time and effort you put in.

This ones for you... :drinkers:
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby DX » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:30 am

I can't wait to see the results of the CrossfireX when it comes out.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Wildfire788 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:28 pm

I wasn't at all surprised at these results, particularly because I have heard that the 3850 is basically an underclocked 3870 with less memory and a single slot cooler. If that's true, then it makes sense that they would work together just fine.

Either way, I like what ATI has been doing and it's little things like this that might be what gives them the edge over Nvidia this year.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Cannyone » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:06 pm

Very Interesting article! I've personally begun to be very interested in this Visiontek HD3850. Since it has a dual-slot cooler my guess would be that it's more overclockable, and it has 512MB instead of 256MB for memory. At that price I might be able to "beg, borrow, and/or steal" enough to get two. Not that I need two mind you. I hardly every play games on my PC anymore. But World in Conflict sure looks sweat!
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby GenG » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:35 pm

It performed much better then i thought, and all in all is on par with the 3970X2. Interesting, but i still wouldn't consider mixing them. If i was going to spend the extra money on Xfire to begin with then i would just spend the extra 40.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:09 pm

GenG wrote:It performed much better then i thought, and all in all is on par with the 3970X2. Interesting, but i still wouldn't consider mixing them. If i was going to spend the extra money on Xfire to begin with then i would just spend the extra 40.


It can be done as seen in the article, but I agree with you 100% that in the long run spending the $40 will be the best bet. It is nice to be able to mix and match if needed though.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby camaroguy1998 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:23 am

Well this Legit Review made the news at The Inquirer!

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/ ... -14feb2008

Its always good to see the LR name in the news!
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby ssrat » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:17 pm

I've been having a dream about hooking my 3750, with an 3750X2.

Any chance you could play with that configuration or would that require the X drivers?
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Kougar » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:03 am

Impressive job by ATI making this work so well. I would not have expected it to perform as well as it did, but it looks like ATI has their act together as far as drivers go. Nice review guys! 8)
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Apoptosis » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:31 am

ssrat wrote:I've been having a dream about hooking my 3750, with an 3750X2.

Any chance you could play with that configuration or would that require the X drivers?


That would require the CrossFireX drivers. :(
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby martini161 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:06 pm

could you do this with nvidia cards? say maybe an 8800 gt and an 8800 gts (g92). or maybe something interesting like a g90 gts and a g92 gts
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Kougar » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:16 pm

martini161 wrote:could you do this with nvidia cards? say maybe an 8800 gt and an 8800 gts (g92). or maybe something interesting like a g90 gts and a g92 gts


No, you can't mix different Nvidia GPUs for SLI. The memory sizes can be different, but the GPU type must be identical.
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby martini161 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:06 am

what about an 8800gt and an 8800gts (g92)? would that work?
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:12 am

no... they are different cores

GeForce 8800 GT G92-270-A2
GeForce 8800 GTS - G92-400-A2
GeForce 9600 GT - G94-300-A1
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby martini161 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:15 am

oh that sucks. i wanted to do that in the future. oh well. i always thought they were the same thing with some of the stream procesors on the gt softlocked or something. i guess after the 6 series they stoped doing that
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:30 pm

Yesterday I had a reader e-mail me with some questions and after bouncing a few e-mails around he sent me this pictures of his mix and matched CrossFire setup. He also watercooled his pair of cards, which is interesting, so I thought I'd share his system pictures with you all.

He has a Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 and a Sapphire Radeon Radeon HD 3850 running CrossFire with 8.2 CATALYST drivers and is also having no problems.

sapphire3.jpg
The Sapphire Cards
sapphire3.jpg (27.95 KiB) Viewed 27823 times

sapphire1.jpg
Opps the water block hits a capacitor!
sapphire1.jpg (29.86 KiB) Viewed 27811 times

sapphire2.jpg
Had to Grind that down for the water block to fit without hurting the capacitor.
sapphire2.jpg (30.2 KiB) Viewed 27785 times

sapphire4.jpg
Finally Installed
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Re: ATI Radeon HD 3870 + 3850 CrossFire - Mixing Video Cards

Postby martini161 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:02 pm

holy **** thats alot of tubing! anyway, i have one last multi gpu question. if you have 2 cards in the 2 pcie slots, but dont put them in crossfire/sli, then would you get a performance increase? and i lied, i have one more. whats the point of the 3rd pcie slot on 680i boards? will they support triple sli in the future?
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