Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

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Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:17 am

Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Last week Diamond Multimedia launched one of the first 1 gigabyte, overclocked versions of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 graphics card. Diamond claims that the performance matches against Nvidia's new GeForce 9xxx series, as well against the Radeon HD 3870 X2. We fire up the Dell 30" to test this claim out at 2560x1600 to see just how much the larger frame buffer does on a number of games. We then overclock the card and five you our thoughts!

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First and foremost, if you’re playing at extreme resolutions of 2560x1600 a single ATI Radeon HD 3870 is clearly not going to cut it. It is able to provide playable frame rates in some situations but is bested by the Nvidia 8800 GTS in most of those same situations. When it comes to performance compared to a standard 3870 with 512MB, our 1GB version really didn’t show much improvement in our short battery of tests but I believe that the performance is being held back more by the actual GPU than an increase in memory bandwidth and size can help. Our testing at such a high resolution should have given the Diamond 3870 1GB a chance to shine.


Article Title: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/698/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $299.99 plus $7 shipping
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby sammy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:45 am

I was surfing and was glad to see the review on this card. I purchased one on line last night and haven't gotten it yet. Unfortunately your review was totally unrealistic of what MOST users would normally run their cards at. How's about something in the 1024x768 to 1680x1050 range ? And how's about a crossfire review ? And mix in a little AA............ ?? And how's about running it against cards in it's performance range ??
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby skier » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:43 pm

so basically, mem size is becoming the "useless" factor in buying a card, i mean, yeah 512M is better than 128M, but once you get a certain point, it doesn't matter, 50GB will perform as well as 2GB if the cores are similar, and performance depends on that, the core architechture, R6xx is pretty well a bust compared to G9x

it's things like this that show the relationship between AMD and Intel, and ATI and nvidia, AMD and ATI both lack the architechture ](*,)
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby Bwall » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:58 pm

sammy wrote:I was surfing and was glad to see the review on this card. I purchased one on line last night and haven't gotten it yet. Unfortunately your review was totally unrealistic of what MOST users would normally run their cards at. How's about something in the 1024x768 to 1680x1050 range ? And how's about a crossfire review ? And mix in a little AA............ ?? And how's about running it against cards in it's performance range ??


Hi Sammy, thanks for the input and welcome to Legit Reviews.

I agree that 1024x768 - 1680x1050 would be more in the range of what this card can handle, the problem however it that is priced directly against the cards in this very review. At the $299 pricepoint it should be capable of running games as well as the other cards, especially at 2560x1600 with the added frame buffer. Unfortunately it's currently priced beyond the realm of its performance relative to the cards in this article.

Diamond has actually said that the card should be competing against 3870 X2, although an X2 was not included in the testing, I have my doubts that it would be able to keep up.

I may have forgotten to include it and will update each graph tonight, but 4xAA was used in all of the tests. Testing this card at 2560x1600 with high AA should have actually shown the card in the best light, however there was no scaling beyond that of a standard 512MB.

-Brian
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby sammy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:18 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I understand your train of thought inre to the price performance view of things. I could have purchased a 9800gtx and been happy. But I didn't............ wanted an ati card this time around. All but 1 of my cards are nvidia products, but I miss the "crispness" , "clarity" and "brightness" of my old ati card and wanted another to take up the slack of my aged x850xt.

I wasn't thinking of the price point when I purchased this card. It was for the performance compared to the 256bit cards. I thought, running 16x10, which I do, that the extra memory band width, 512/1g would have helped me here vs the 256/512 with the "goodies" turned on. But imo not enough information was present in the review. Hopefully we'll see more in the future.......... dude.......you kinda made me feel bad about my purchase.....yer bummin' me out....... LOL................
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby sammy » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:16 pm



if the video card reviewer is still reading this post...... I got mine today and sent it back. I'm curious to find out if the card you did the review on had a 256bit memory interface like the one I got did.............. ?? And what's your take on the mis-representation ??
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby DMB2000uk » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:40 am

You should know that there is now very little difference in image quality between ATI and Nvidia, while ATI used to be miles ahead, nvidia have gotten the quality very close now.

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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:22 am

sammy wrote:
if the video card reviewer is still reading this post...... I got mine today and sent it back. I'm curious to find out if the card you did the review on had a 256bit memory interface like the one I got did.............. ?? And what's your take on the mis-representation ??


Sammy,

You are 100% right, this card only has a 256-bit bus. I have checked into it and have informed both ATI and Diamond of the issue. Diamond has already confirmed with Taiwan that is it 256-bit and they are in the process of pulling down all the 512-bit marketing material and telling retailers to change the listing info on the card. I have also update the article that Brian wrote as the card is only 256-bit, which is likely why the performance is what it is. Good eye and thanks for pointing this out. You were the first to catch that.
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Re: Diamond HD 3870 1GB Video Card Review

Postby martini161 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:29 pm

if you are stuck with a 256bit version of the card then a lot of performance may be gained by overclocking the pcie frequency in the bios to compensate for the smaller bus
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