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RV670: AMD ATI Radeon HD 3870

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DougEdey 30th November 2007, 08:03 Quote
Great article, I've only skimread it because I have to get to work, but it seems like the die shrink went well and we finally get that ruddy cooling unit that works at last!
WhiskeyAlpha 30th November 2007, 09:43 Quote
Great review Tim ;)

Just a little OT:

How comes in the Crysis benchies your GT's seem to be scaling rather well in SLi? I thought that SLi wasn't yet implemented for Crysis?

Or maybe you are privvy to something we are not?
mutznutz 30th November 2007, 10:05 Quote
So glad that Ati have a semi competitive product again look forward to crossfire support and the X2's when they appear woop!
DXR_13KE 30th November 2007, 10:21 Quote
at least power consumption is down..... thank God.
Tim S 30th November 2007, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyAlpha
Great review Tim ;)

Just a little OT:

How comes in the Crysis benchies your GT's seem to be scaling rather well in SLi? I thought that SLi wasn't yet implemented for Crysis?

Or maybe you are privvy to something we are not?

The built-in Crysis benchmark doesn't scale very well, but I saw some tremendous scaling in the scene I've used from the Harbour level (sometimes up to 1.6m polys/frame, whereas the demo sits at around 1.2m polys/frame). I'm really not sure why it's scaling so well, but I don't think it's a bad thing!
WhiskeyAlpha 30th November 2007, 10:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
The built-in Crysis benchmark doesn't scale very well, but I saw some tremendous scaling in the scene I've used from the Harbour level (sometimes up to 1.6m polys/frame, whereas the demo sits at around 1.2m polys/frame). I'm really not sure why it's scaling so well, but I don't think it's a bad thing!

Oh, it's certainly not a bad thing Tim :)

Just seems a little odd that's all. As far I was aware, the "official word" from Crytek and Nvidia was that they were working together to get SLi fully implemented in a future game/driver patch. Several sources have shown that Crysis shows very little scaling in SLi (infact many benchies show a defecit in SLi, caused I presume by the overhead of having another card sitting virtually idle).

All that said, Bit-tech is certainly time after time the most accurate source, who don't indulge in rampant specualtion and unproven 'facts'. Your benchies in particular should be credited for their thoroughness. Therefore, I'll take your word for it Tim.
Jipa 30th November 2007, 11:05 Quote
Thank god Ati has finally got something right. Albeit 3870 loses to 8800GT, it still is that bit cheaper, so I guess it can be considered a good "comeback". I still don't like Ati's drivers, so I'd get the 8800GT, but 3870 isn't really a bad choice.
Zurechial 30th November 2007, 11:11 Quote
Great review Tim, and thanks for all of the info on DX10.1, it's very informative and clears up a few myths going around - The DX10.1 stuff almost deserves an article of its own!

The extra information provided in bit-tech reviews is a huge part of the appeal for me, it's not just wall-to-wall benchmarks like a lot of sites, but gives informed opinions that really educate and help us to see why there are performance differences between different architectures and APIs.
phuzz 30th November 2007, 11:21 Quote
Although I'm still to skint for an upgrade right now, I'm glad ATI are getting back into the game, if only because decent cards from both nVidia and ATI(/AMD) gives us gamers choice and hopefully brings prices down a bit.
adamc 30th November 2007, 11:47 Quote
I was initially concerned, having just bought an 8800GT, but I think I made the right decision. At least ATI are starting to look remotely competitive, at least in the low-medium performance end.
Naberius 30th November 2007, 12:03 Quote
This mid-market stuff is all good, but i want to see a product that dominates the high-end market.
Cupboard 30th November 2007, 12:18 Quote
Great review, thanks.

Where do you learn all the stuff about DX from? that can't all be from press releases. The amount of work you do is amazing!
Angleus 30th November 2007, 13:14 Quote
Im gonna feel at least 90% less 1337 with 300% less x's in the name of my graphics card....
Still seems that 8800GT's the way to go though once the prices settle down, great review though and pleased to see ATI/AMD are back in the game
Tim S 30th November 2007, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
Great review, thanks.

Where do you learn all the stuff about DX from? that can't all be from press releases. The amount of work you do is amazing!

I usually sit and listen to the developer presentations from Siggraph/GDC/etc and get as much information as possible direct from the guys that designed the API - a lot of it is code examples and what not, so it's often well above the level that anyone buying the product would ever need to know... but the beauty is that it can be condensed down into what is beneficial for the end user to know and what isn't really needed because it'd just confuse matters.

If I've got questions, I have a few contacts within Microsoft's DX team that can help... if they can't, it's a case of asking both AMD and Nvidia for their side of the story and then making my own decision based on what they've both said.

This was the one thing I did with DirectX 10.1 - I asked everyone, including a bunch of developers, whether it'd ever be a minimum specification and everyone (including AMD - the guys really making a push for DX10.1) said that it wouldn't ever be a minimum requirement.
Da Dego 30th November 2007, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyAlpha
Just seems a little odd that's all. As far I was aware, the "official word" from Crytek and Nvidia was that they were working together to get SLi fully implemented in a future game/driver patch. Several sources have shown that Crysis shows very little scaling in SLi (infact many benchies show a defecit in SLi, caused I presume by the overhead of having another card sitting virtually idle).
And that, dear friends, is why Tim doesn't just use a bunch of synthetic or built in benchmarks - they just don't paint a real picture of how something actually plays. The minute we get a whiff that the bench won't produce real results, it's out and Tim does manual run-throughs instead. :)
Redbeaver 30th November 2007, 14:16 Quote
nice article :D

but i still hold my grudge from the 8800GT review >_> i wanna see how an overclock GTS640, clock at the same freq at GT, fares to the GT...... hohoho........ im sure that'll help us poor GTS640 owner to determine if its a good decision to jump ship to the GT or just overclock the hell out of the GTS....
Tim S 30th November 2007, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
nice article :D

but i still hold my grudge from the 8800GT review >_> i wanna see how an overclock GTS640, clock at the same freq at GT, fares to the GT...... hohoho........ im sure that'll help us poor GTS640 owner to determine if its a good decision to jump ship to the GT or just overclock the hell out of the GTS....

I'd clock the hell in the short term - there'll be faster stuff out in the future and I'm sure your card is just fine as it is at the moment. ;)
Jipa 30th November 2007, 14:26 Quote
I don't see _ANY_ reason to upgrade a GTS640 to GT, unless if you manage to do it so you don't have to pay anything (i.e. sell the GTS and buy the GT for cheaper).
mm vr 30th November 2007, 16:24 Quote
It kinda sucks in performance... there has to be some kinda problem in CF.
Tim S 30th November 2007, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm vr
It kinda sucks in performance... there has to be some kinda problem in CF.

Only sucks in CrossFire when there isn't a profile....
Brett89 30th November 2007, 16:46 Quote
Very nice review, are you going to make the power consumption standard, it's the first time i've noticed it and I think it'd prove to be extremely(!) helpful.
simosaurus 30th November 2007, 17:15 Quote
does the fact that the 8800 sli was only 3fps slower at 1900x1200 than at 1280x1024 indicate there was a CPU bottleneck?
WhiskeyAlpha 30th November 2007, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I'd clock the hell in the short term - there'll be faster stuff out in the future and I'm sure your card is just fine as it is at the moment. ;)

So, with that in mind... If you are already the owner of a GTS640 with a reasonable OC and an SLi capable (but not 45nm compatable :() motherboard (glances at rig), would you advise picking up a cheap GTS640 (which obviously would get the same OC treatment) for playing Crysis on very high with reasonable frames?
Hamish 30th November 2007, 18:22 Quote
thw powerplay stuff is amazing
with the same cooling my x1900 idled at around 30C compared to 19C on my 3870
load temps never went above 50 on x1900 but never go above 40 on my 3870

i need to flash the bios on my to get past 860 core tho, theres a shitload of headroom in the core for overclocking on this card :D
Edvuld 30th November 2007, 19:06 Quote
Interesting budget choice indeed.

BTW, is it only me that had problems with the index on the first page not working?
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