bit-tech.net

AMD announces Radeon HD 3800 series

AMD announces Radeon HD 3800 series

AMD has released the Radeon HD 3800 series - cards should be available for purchase today.

This morning, AMD announced its ATI Radeon HD 3800 series of graphics cards, which are aimed right at the performance segment of the market.

The family comprises of two cards, the Radeon HD 3870 and Radeon HD 3850 which are both based on the same GPU – RV670. RV670 is fabbed on TSMC’s 55nm manufacturing process and features largely the same architecture as the Radeon HD 2900 XT, including 320 stream processors (still split into 64 five-way superscalar shader processors), 16 texture units, 16 ROPs, a ring bus memory architecture (albeit only 256-bit externally) and the tessellator unit. However, it adds support for DirectX 10.1, UVD and a number of other things.

One of the most impressive things we’ve seen about the architecture is its power saving technologies, which fall under the PowerPlay umbrella. If you’re familiar with ATI’s previous notebook GPUs, you will have heard of PowerPlay – it essentially enables much lower idle states to save power when the GPU is not doing an awful lot, or even if it’s under lighter loads.

The Radeon HD 3870 comes with a dual slot cooling solution and is clocked at 775MHz core. In its reference form, it features 512MB of GDDR4 memory that zips along at 2.25GHz (effective) and AMD has said that the maximum board power is around 105W – roughly the same as what the GeForce 8800 GT’s maximum board power. On the other hand, the Radeon HD 3850 comes with a single slot cooler and more conservative clock speeds – as a result, the maximum board power is lowered to just 95W. The 3850’s core is clocked at 670MHz, while the 256MB of GDDR3 memory is clocked at 1.66GHz (effective).


We’re currently working on our review of the cards, which should be online in the next couple of days. This delay is due to the short amount of time we’ve had with final hardware (the first cards arrived at the start of this week) and a number of problems we’ve encountered during our testing – we’re working those out as we go along, but things are looking promising for AMD thus far.

Both AMD and Sapphire have assured us that the products should hit around £140 (inc. VAT) and £110 (inc. VAT) upon release. However, given that retailers charged over the odds for the GeForce 8800 GT, we expect initial pricing to be higher – more in line with the pricing that was leaked just the other day. AMD last night told bit-tech that it believes that at these price points, it’s targeting around 50 million gamers compared to roughly one tenth of that it targeted with the higher price of the Radeon HD 2900 XT.


The same or higher performance at lower prices is definitely good for the consumer and we certainly welcome that, but there’s a lot of question marks in the graphics industry at the moment as Nvidia ironically decided to paper launch the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB card just yesterday in an attempt to soften the blow that the Radeon HD 3850 delivered to the GeForce 8600 GTS.

For now, you can discuss the new cards in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Andy Mc 15th November 2007, 06:52 Quote
But will it have decent Linux drivers? This is the main factor that stops me from buying an ATI/AMD card after trying in vain to get my old 9600 to work on Linux.
Strages 15th November 2007, 06:55 Quote
Is it me or do these cards seem specc'd to offer way more performance than is being hinted at? £140+VAT is what, ~$230USD? That just seems like a pittance for these spec's.... those stream processors must be horribly inefficient for it to take 320 at 775MHz to compete with the 8800GT's 112.
Firehed 15th November 2007, 06:59 Quote
£140 is about $290, though when you figure in the ROB conversion, the $230 mark sounds about right. Glad to see they're finally starting to remember the days of GPUs not costing half a grand and that chopping a bit off the price will boost sales tremendously. Lower profit per sale is easily outdone by higher sales. Win/win.
DrFreeze 15th November 2007, 07:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strages
Is it me or do these cards seem specc'd to offer way more performance than is being hinted at? £140+VAT is what, ~$230USD? That just seems like a pittance for these spec's.... those stream processors must be horribly inefficient for it to take 320 at 775MHz to compete with the 8800GT's 112.

welcome to half a year ago (with the 2900xt vs the GTX)

the main reasons Nv can keep up with less shaders:
- Nv runs it shaders async to the rest of the core, i believe 1,45 GHz shaderclock vs 575 coreclock for a 8800GTX
- Nv has 128 full shaders ALUs, capable of all the needed opps
- Ati has 64 "5 shader" mini processors, which consist of one complex alu (kinda like the NV ones), and four simple ALUs (which can only do a very few simple shader opps). These mini procs are then also limited in that a single proc can only work on one render at a time, so no re-using those spare 2-3 simple alus that are sitting idle right now.

And then there is the fact that Ati uses some of it shaders to process AA, which means that when using AA, the shaders take a rather large hit.

Ati chose an interesting architecture, which probably is part related to their "many shaders, little ROPs" architecture on r580, But i tend to think that Nvidia chose the better path. Ati theoretically has more shader power (but due to the clock difference only 25-30%), but those 5-shader bundles provide a huge amount of restrictions putting the brakes on performance
chrisb2e9 15th November 2007, 07:20 Quote
so, i'm slightly confused. maybe due to the fact that its almost 1am. the 3800, is > 2900?
and the 8800 is > 2900, so is the 3800 = 8800 or does it look like one is better than the other?
tranc3 15th November 2007, 07:28 Quote
from the looks of this im getting the hint that the Radeon HD 3800 beats 8800gtx?
iwog 15th November 2007, 08:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed
£140 is about $290, though when you figure in the ROB conversion, the $230 mark sounds about right. Glad to see they're finally starting to remember the days of GPUs not costing half a grand and that chopping a bit off the price will boost sales tremendously. Lower profit per sale is easily outdone by higher sales. Win/win.

Only if demand is elastic, which for graphics cards as a whole i doubt it is. If you loose less sale as a % then the % increase in price (inelastic) it makes more sense to charge a higher price for more revenue. But it would be nice to see prices return to a more normal level
Hugo 15th November 2007, 09:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranc3
from the looks of this im getting the hint that the Radeon HD 3800 beats 8800gtx?

For the love of all that is holy NO.
Shadow_101 15th November 2007, 09:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranc3
from the looks of this im getting the hint that the Radeon HD 3800 beats 8800gtx?

nope. TweakTown Review ASUS HD 3870
frontline 15th November 2007, 10:55 Quote
will be interesting to see how how 2 x 3870s in crossfire mode compare to 2 x 8800GTs in sli or 1 x 8800GTX. The temperature and noise tests seem to show a massive improvement which would make this a viable option.
[USRF]Obiwan 15th November 2007, 11:26 Quote
I (and i guess everybody else) wants to know if it is as fast as the 8800GTX or (less optimistic..) the 8800GT. I dont care much for anything fancy that this card will have unless it is on par or faster the the current king.
Silver Shamrock 15th November 2007, 11:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
I (and i guess everybody else) wants to know if it is as fast as the 8800GTX or (less optimistic..) the 8800GT. I dont care much for anything fancy that this card will have unless it is on par or faster the the current king.


Look a few posts above for your answer.

It's faster than the 2900xt, is cheaper, uses less power and has a quiet cooler. I'm seriously interested in one of these especially at that price. I may well even make use of my crossfire board and get a couple once i see some crossfire reviews.
mrplow 15th November 2007, 11:48 Quote
Sounds like my kinda card.
Fast-ish and cheap-ish.

So where can I get one cheapest?


edit: hmm 115 and 155 at ebuyer (not in stock yet though)
Darkedge 15th November 2007, 12:08 Quote
okay so buying the 2900 was a mistake. bugger.
mrplow 15th November 2007, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkedge
okay so buying the 2900 was a mistake. bugger.

It's always the way in this game... there's never a 'right time' to buy the top-end stuff because there's always the brand new top-end stuff just around the corner.
Silver Shamrock 15th November 2007, 13:19 Quote
Yeah Ati did the same thing not long ago with the x1800. Within a month or so the x1900 were released making the x1800 cards a big waste of money. It's a gamble sometimes.
Redbeaver 15th November 2007, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranc3
from the looks of this im getting the hint that the Radeon HD 3800 beats 8800gtx?

nope. TweakTown Review ASUS HD 3870

whoa... u should check the Dx10 games........ CoJ i kno its ATI darkchild, but CoH its speedier than GT too... yes i kno, it aint a GTX, but still :) give some credit to the red guys ;)
Goty 15th November 2007, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mc
But will it have decent Linux drivers? This is the main factor that stops me from buying an ATI/AMD card after trying in vain to get my old 9600 to work on Linux.

ATI is definitely working on it, releasing fglrx updates every month, adding AIGLX support and the like. Supposedly the OpenGL performance is great, but there are a few memory leaks and the 2D performance sucks under compiz and/or beryl.
trig 15th November 2007, 18:15 Quote
for those in the us, newegg has them showing in stock...both versions...but both reviews i've seen show much less performance than the 8800gt...i know i know, drivers, right? yeah...amd spewed that same garbage when the 2900xt released. even if the drivers are immature, they arent going to get you a 30% improvement when they're fixed. i keep rooting for them, but they keep under-performing. hopefully tim has some different results than what i have seen so far
Fiber4now 15th November 2007, 19:25 Quote
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/11/12/bfgtech_geforce_8800_gt_oc_512mb/1

All I know is AMD will be doing a lot of back peddling if this review done by our very own Bittech is true. The 3870 will have to be perform twice as well as the HD2900 XT in modern games to even edge any where close to the G8800 GT.

Now what do you believe your very own eyes are the marketing campaign that AMD is putting on.

My guess after everything is said and done AMD will resort to what they have done for the last two years our card is cheaper then the compititions card even though it does not perform as well.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums