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Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512MB Atomic

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morris8809 4th February 2008, 14:22 Quote
If ati/amd want to bring some competition to Nvidia their really going to have to do a better job at a lower price. Im in the US and right now i can order a 8800GT 512Mb for around 230. The value to buy ati over nvidia just isnt there right now. Their cards are too costly for the performance you get out of them.
Mankz 4th February 2008, 14:36 Quote
Never seen the innovation badge before!

I'd still rather get the cheapest 3870, add an HR-03 and then OC myself..
Paradigm Shifter 4th February 2008, 14:43 Quote
Single slot, cooler and quieter than the stock cooler? I want. :D
Da Dego 4th February 2008, 15:09 Quote
Having seen this in person, the cooling is just awesome. What's better is Sapphire's choice to actively sponsor the modding community with products like this. As a matter of fact, I have one here that's going out to a lucky modder in the next couple weeks... ;)
zr_ox 4th February 2008, 17:33 Quote
Nice review as always, however I feel like something is missing from the GPU reviews of late!

Bit-tech always used to do image quality comparisons. We always got to see detailed image comparison in games and movies if my memory server me..or not?

Most of todays card are being marketed as HD and HDCP ready, as far as I'm aware all current Nvidia & ATi cards are?

Bit-tech no longer seem to do detailed image analysis, please correct me if I'm wrong. Many enthusiast already have LCD TVs and/or computer screens capable of displaying High Definition content, connected to GPU's capable of decoding and playing it. Many probably already have drives capable of playing either HD or BR discs, they cost only £150 compared to £250+ for a standalone player.

My question is that given the abundance of HD content, and devices capable of playback are you not testing it?

It seems like this card has been a little short changed! The card is bundled specifically to support playback via HDMI however you have not done anything to test it. The card has been thoroughly tested in games, given it's poor score it seems obvious that gaming is not this cards forte. I believe however that this card may do a sterling job of HD content playback in a media centre.....but it's not tested!

It's just something I seem to remember always being tested.
Tim S 4th February 2008, 17:51 Quote
Hey dude,

Thanks for your post.

We've not tested video playback much in the past - there have only been a few reviews with it included IIRC and we've usually done that with the more mid-range cards than this. Rich is working on an IGP article as I speak, which goes into a lot of detail on video image quality, as that's their main usage model.

If it's something that the readers would like to see more often on higher-end cards, I'm sure it's something we can maybe look at doing. That said, I don't really think it's necessarily required with a board partner review - I'm thinking more along the lines of including it in either the reference/architectural review and then referring to that for any other card based on the same product.

Again, in-game image quality is generally tested (in depth) at major architectural steps, but it's something I think almost warrants its own separate article every now and again -- I'd like to do more on it than we have in the past, as well. Obviously, when we start testing with a new driver, I sit down and compare the image quality between cards to ensure that the drivers aren't doing anything they shouldn't... but generally speaking these days, the two are pretty much on a par.

That said, I've been wanting to spend some more time on more generalised graphics articles in recent times but the launch schedule for the last few months has been pretty hectic. It's something I'm slowly addressing though, so thanks for your suggestions - it's stuff I've been thinking of, but it's great to know that readers are thinking along the same lines too!

Tim
Tyinsar 4th February 2008, 19:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
... there has been some true innovation here—something that we don’t see all that often from add-in board partners. The technology that Sapphire has showcased here is nothing short of awesome ...

... the company is expecting to roll out the VCT cooling technology onto more affordable cards that are mass produced. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
Having seen this in person, the cooling is just awesome. What's better is Sapphire's choice to actively sponsor the modding community with products like this. As a matter of fact, I have one here that's going out to a lucky modder in the next couple weeks... ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
... Rich is working on an IGP article as I speak, which goes into a lot of detail on video image quality, as that's their main usage model. ...

Win, Win, & Win

zr_ox 4th February 2008, 19:44 Quote
Thanks for the response Tim.

It's just something I have been thinking about for a while. Lurking in the HDCP forum indicates that there is still a lack of knowledge regarding specific hardware requirements for HD playback.....Onboard HDMI vs GPU HDMI...and so on.

Finding time and space for it in your review would certainly boost all of our knowledge.

Greatly looking forward to your future articles on this subject.
HourBeforeDawn 4th February 2008, 20:34 Quote
ya I too would like to see HD playback results as well as I hook up my computer to my HD TV too.
rupbert 4th February 2008, 23:01 Quote
Another request for HD playback results.
gigik 4th February 2008, 23:12 Quote
nice piece of technology here, i want more coolers like this, gpu, cpu, psu,.. everything :-)
JaredC01 4th February 2008, 23:26 Quote
Ya know when I first saw the pic on the main page, I thought it was a lower level model or something... Then I read it... Single slot cooling solution rocks! Imagine quad crossfire, with room for a sound card :X
DXR_13KE 5th February 2008, 01:00 Quote
shame they don't make nvidia cards...... this one would rape with a 8800GTS 512.....
Gravemind123 5th February 2008, 04:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredC01
Ya know when I first saw the pic on the main page, I thought it was a lower level model or something... Then I read it... Single slot cooling solution rocks! Imagine quad crossfire, with room for a sound card :X

I was thinking that too, it probably has much better temps in crossfire due to the gap between the cards in mobos where there is only 1 slot between the 2 PCI-E X16 slots. Even in wider spaced motherboards the temps would be much better, and without the noise of the reference cooler, sounds like a great thing for people who like silence.

Personally, the thing that interests me is the cooler design. I'm not sure I fully understand how it works, I get the basics and all, but what effects changing its size would cause? If you could make a larger, dual-slot solution of this, maybe it would work to get even lower temps with the same amount of noise? That would be great if there was some way to volt-mod the card for some heavy overclocking(something simple like the conductive ink mod I used on my 7900GS) and get some nice speed out of it.
Sparrowhawk 5th February 2008, 05:57 Quote
Hmm. From the looks of it, I'd say they could make *shedloads* of money by starting up manufacturing of this 'one-slot' heat-sink as an aftermarket add-on. I mean, could you imagine a one-slot 8800GT?
DXR_13KE 5th February 2008, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk
. I mean, could you imagine a one-slot 8800GT?

its already one-slot, i think you are considering the GTS, GTX and ultra..
OleJ 5th February 2008, 23:03 Quote
[RANT]
**** Sapphire.
They screwed me over on their 2 different retail 3870 which made me miss the Valve Black Box.
No mercy for swine.
[/RANT]

Sorry for that but I can't say I feel anything positive in regards to that company.
HourBeforeDawn 5th February 2008, 23:05 Quote
hmm well I guess its the luck of the draw, I have had zero issues so far with Sapphire.
Hazardous 6th February 2008, 16:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn


hmm well I guess its the luck of the draw, I have had zero issues so far with Sapphire.

Nor me... and I've owned a few different Sapphire cards over the years... primarily because they used Arctic Cooling coolers as standard on their cards B)
But I've never had to contact them about anything (the cards were all rock solid), so I can't vouch for their product support/customer services?


Well be going OT here... but I'm interested to know: In what way did they "screw you over" Ole?
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