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Sapphire takes Radeon HD 3850 to AGP

Sapphire takes Radeon HD 3850 to AGP

Sapphire has what appears to be the world's first Radeon HD 3850 with an AGP socket.

Sapphire today showed us what looks to be the world’s first graphics card to support both DirectX 10.1 and the now legacy AGP interconnect.

The card is a Radeon HD 3850 with 512MB of on-board memory that’s clocked at 1700MHz (effective) and has a core speed of 700MHz – these are slightly higher than the reference Radeon HD 3850 clock speeds of 670/1660MHz.

Interestingly, Sapphire has paired the AGP port up with a 6-pin power connector that’s normally used exclusively on PCI-Express graphics cards – the reason is because, with the AGP slot only being able to deliver 50W of power, a 4-pin molex connector isn’t enough to meet the card’s 95W maximum power draw.

Rather than adopting two 4-pin molex connectors like the GeForce 6800 Ultra did many moons ago, it made more sense to include the 6-pin connector that can deliver up to 75W. For those that are worried that their power supply doesn’t have the necessary connector, Sapphire said that it provides an adaptor in the box.

In terms of the GPU underneath the heatsink, it’s a full-fat version of the HD 3850, meaning there are 64 5-way superscalar shader units (meaning a total of 320 stream processors), 16 render backends (or ROPs), an internal 512-bit ring bus memory architecture (256-bit external) and all of the funky power management features that got AMD several commendations in the bit-tech Hardware Awards from 2007.

The Unified Video Decoder is also present, meaning there is full hardware accelerated decode for H.264 and VC-1 video streams. To complement this, there is a pair of dual-link DVI connectors—complete with HDCP support—and you can also use the supplied HDMI dongle for connecting to your high-definition TV.

Are you still running an AGP system? Tell us about it in the forums.

42 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Tyinsar 7th January 2008, 19:43 Quote
Have we saturated the AGP bus yet? - though I'm guessing the CPU would more often be the bottleneck on AGP systems. Still, I think this is cool and there is a market so: ;)
DXR_13KE 7th January 2008, 19:47 Quote
i am still running an AGP system.... but to buy this GC is kind of stupid...... i can't use it in the event of some part of my system fries.....
C-Sniper 7th January 2008, 20:45 Quote
wouldn't the AGP bus itself become a bottleneck for this card?
proxess 7th January 2008, 22:47 Quote
First I'd like to see this in action. A review maybe? It feels like that "one last upgrade" for someone still running AGP. I don't think its that bad of an idea.
Jamie 7th January 2008, 23:13 Quote
Nice to see some companies still supporting AGP, I'm still running an AGP system.
willyolio 8th January 2008, 01:14 Quote
every time you think it's going to die... another company extends its lifetime by another generation.

i'm still running an AGP system, but i really don't see the point. pretty much everything is outdated, so even if i upgrade my video card i still have nothing left for my processor.
genesisofthesith 8th January 2008, 02:23 Quote
Bar those with a 939 agp board running an x2 this is pretty stupid. Just let AGP die already.
Amon 8th January 2008, 02:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
wouldn't the AGP bus itself become a bottleneck for this card?
Not really. IIRC, there's still tonnes of bandwidth left that we still haven't really been able to use, so we could use even the next generation monster graphics cards on it if we wanted to (provided they are engineered in a compatible manner). But there were some obvious limitations of the AGP bus that were rectified with PCI-express, such as the amount of power it can provide.

As for the card, I hope the one thing they avoid f*cking up on this card is making it $50 more expensive than the PCIe version.
Jack_Pepsi 8th January 2008, 02:38 Quote
This will be perfect for my SN95G5. ;) It'll replace my X1950 Pro - with some water-cooling on that thing it should be as good as a 3870. :P
sotu1 8th January 2008, 03:35 Quote
not a bad idea...i think for the failing company it might bring about a little cash boost....probs not much tho TBH. its a great one last upgrade tho, agreed with u there
knuck 8th January 2008, 04:49 Quote
useless

My Pentium M @ 2.7ghz bottlenecks my X850XT in call of duty 4 ... I doubt any cpu coupled with an AGP port would do anything of this card unless it's an extremely overclocked X2
HandMadeAndroid 8th January 2008, 05:04 Quote
I've been stretching out my old P4 system for months now, and to be honest the last AGP card I bought on a whim from Maplin was a complete waste of money (£70 for a 7300 such a premium), I'd have been better off saving my money towards a new system..... so today I got a new CPU/board and ram, XP installed in 10mins lol, gone is the 'vacuum cleaner' in the corner of my study! I do love the bios controlled fans...silence is golden. I must say though a bit off topic that the new, well new to me heat sink fitting for the core duo royally sucks and is cheap and nasty. I even rang the store up and the technician told me that the board would be visibly bent by it and not to worry; whats going on there? I'm guessing the card in this article is going to clock in at £150ish (?) Seems to me like chucking cash down the drain.
HourBeforeDawn 8th January 2008, 06:01 Quote
huh well this is great to see, I dont think we fully capped what the AGP slot could do before we made the move to PCI-E and my brother has a pretty decent system but with it being AGP thats the only thing dated but now we can make that one last upgrade to his system. ^_^
Imperious 8th January 2008, 07:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
useless

My Pentium M @ 2.7ghz bottlenecks my X850XT in call of duty 4 ... I doubt any cpu coupled with an AGP port would do anything of this card unless it's an extremely overclocked X2

I don't believe that at all, I also have a Pentium M 740 @ 2.7GHZ with a G70 based 7800gs on an Asus P4P800 dlx, and the only thing holding it back as far as new games go is the Video card, not to say of course that a more modern machine couldn't do better. I was at a Lan the other day and at 1440x900 on a LCD monitor UT3 ran appreciably slower than it does on my 19" CRT at 1152x864, which proves a video card bottleneck as opposed to cpu.
If the cpu was causing the bottleneck then it wouldn't matter much what resolution or detail settings were being used as the frame rate would stay roughly the same.
Obviously those of us who get a HD3850 AGP, we are all going to be cpu limited to a certain extent, only people with Asrock C2D and AGP will not have this issue.
Quote:
Originally posted by HandMadeAndroid...
I've been stretching out my old P4 system for months now, and to be honest the last AGP card I bought on a whim from Maplin was a complete waste of money (£70 for a 7300 such a premium)

I don't know what P4 You've got but a 7300 is more likely Your problem, they are the bottom of the 7xxx series, Nvidia also made 7600gs, 7600gt, 7800gs, 7900gs ,and 7950GT AGP cards. So Yours is at the bottom of the heap.
proxess 8th January 2008, 21:39 Quote
I wonder how my pc would work with it? I definitely need more ram tho, i can feel 1gb choking the way it is...
Tyinsar 8th January 2008, 22:02 Quote
If it's the P4 in your sig a new machine would be your best bet by a long shot.
knuck 9th January 2008, 03:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperious
I don't believe that at all, I also have a Pentium M 740 @ 2.7GHZ with a G70 based 7800gs on an Asus P4P800 dlx, and the only thing holding it back as far as new games go is the Video card, not to say of course that a more modern machine couldn't do better. I was at a Lan the other day and at 1440x900 on a LCD monitor UT3 ran appreciably slower than it does on my 19" CRT at 1152x864, which proves a video card bottleneck as opposed to cpu.
If the cpu was causing the bottleneck then it wouldn't matter much what resolution or detail settings were being used as the frame rate would stay roughly the same.

I know how these things work and I came to the conclusion that my cpu bottlenecks my videocard by using the same process as you did. In cod4 AND ut3, between 64x480 and 1280x960 there is no framerate difference at all. Enabling visual effects does not affect the framerate a lot either, which means it's the cpu that can't keep up

that's how things are for me, they might be different for you
proxess 9th January 2008, 23:29 Quote
any reviews out?
Amon 10th January 2008, 02:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
I know how these things work and I came to the conclusion that my cpu bottlenecks my videocard by using the same process as you did. In cod4 AND ut3, between 64x480 and 1280x960 there is no framerate difference at all. Enabling visual effects does not affect the framerate a lot either, which means it's the cpu that can't keep up

that's how things are for me, they might be different for you
Hmm, I guess it depends on what you play. Everything I play is almost entirely GPU-limited, so a lot of time needs to be spent to settle on a compromise of visual quality and consistency--whereas you may spend time toying around with physics-based effects to play comfortably. So far, the games I play don't hammer my CPU to pieces like yours may, so that's probably the difference between our experiences. Then again, mine and other people's dual-core processors might be the difference between ours and your computer.
Imperious 10th January 2008, 08:23 Quote
Ok, Ghys, I was assuming that You have a Asus MB with a CT479 adaptor like me, but am aware of some other Pentium M desktop solutions.
I did some benchmarking in Supreme commander, results as follows....

Pentium M 740@226x12=2712mhz. 1gig Dual channel ram @452mhz cas 2.5,3,3,5
MSI 7800GS g70 @ 513mhz core 1606mhz ram (its been volt modded)

Supreme Commander
1024x768 FPS min 4.73, max 85.29, average 34.359 Total pixels 786432
1280x1024 FPS min 3.79, max 52.52, average 22.139 Total pixels 1310720
1440x900 FPS min 4.81, max 66.8 , average 25.762 Total pixels 1296000

game settings were equal for all 3 test runs, slightly above medium, custom.

So for my setup, and with this game, I am definitely GPU limited.
rogerbodger 12th January 2008, 22:31 Quote
hi all, you can probably help me back from the edge of extinction, cut a very long story short, i had overheating problems which i think came from my AMD ATHLON 3800?? running at 2.4ghz ish maybe 2.6 with a radeon x800xt platinum card.{not positive on the chip} i now have an amd 4000? i think running at 2.6 ghz and also bought an agp ati sapphire hd2600xt as a bit of an upgrade. we couldnt get the card to run bf2 or ghost recon or cod4 anywhere near as good as the old components, really laggy and jerky especially when i was getting blown up in bf2, and so the card is going back and i have been advised to wait for the 3850 and try that as the drivers for the 2600 didnt seem up to much.
i cant afford to get a complete new system with pci-e so wondered what your thoughts were, the x800xt is back in and running fine and the chip seems cool enough and hasnt switched off.

as much as i am a biff at this my mate is a bit of a ninja.

if you want any other specs let me know and i will find out.

hope you can offer me some advice other than find a skip

and i hope i posted this in the right place

and its a skt 939

many thanks

:(
knuck 13th January 2008, 01:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperious
Ok, Ghys, I was assuming that You have a Asus MB with a CT479 adaptor like me, but am aware of some other Pentium M desktop solutions.
I did some benchmarking in Supreme commander, results as follows....

Pentium M 740@226x12=2712mhz. 1gig Dual channel ram @452mhz cas 2.5,3,3,5
MSI 7800GS g70 @ 513mhz core 1606mhz ram (its been volt modded)

Supreme Commander
1024x768 FPS min 4.73, max 85.29, average 34.359 Total pixels 786432
1280x1024 FPS min 3.79, max 52.52, average 22.139 Total pixels 1310720
1440x900 FPS min 4.81, max 66.8 , average 25.762 Total pixels 1296000

game settings were equal for all 3 test runs, slightly above medium, custom.

So for my setup, and with this game, I am definitely GPU limited.

I do have a P4C800-E Deluxe and a CT479. I would make some cod4 benches but recently my pc has been dieing on me and crashing while gaming.. I had to drop my overclock 500mhz to 2.2ghz... Therefore there is a much greater chance for the cpu to truly bottleneck. Maybe these stability problems are why cod4 has been running so bad ever since i bought it. It's actually getting worse everyday. For those of you who know the game, I now drop in the 20's fps in Backlot or Downpour... It's become totally unplayable

the problem is you're going UP in resolution for your testing. You should go down or else it's obvious you'll be cpu limited. Of course your 3 year old gpu will bottleneck if you run 3months old games in 1440x900
lectrician 13th January 2008, 17:57 Quote
-------------------------THIS-------IS--------THE------DEFINITIVE ANSWER----------------- ON -------THIS--------SUBJECT
Hi. Abouth the AGP bus bottleneck. I am inclined to believe its a myth put forward by those that need you to continue to spend money on new parts. this really sucks if you have a budget, and want full settings in games. The Bandwidth for AGP is 2.1 GB per second; unilaterally. So with this assumption the AGP would bottleneck a game with 512 MB textures like Quake 4 at 4 frames a second.

512MB+512MB+512MB+512MB=2 GB

this is simply not the case. I run AMD 4200+, 2GB DDRII 667, -----------------512 MB Radeon 1950 pro AGP 8x---------------
I get 4790 3dmarks in 3dmark 06, 60-100 FPS in Battlefield 2142 at supermax settings, 50-85 FPS in Team Fortress 2 Supermax settings, and UT3 is georgeous at 45 FPS 2 notches below all high detail. I push WAY MORE than 2.1 GB a second on this old 8x Bus. The biggest performance boost is RAM amount, and your processor power. pair this new AGP card with 2-4 GB of ram, and a 6000+ series intel or AMD chip and youve got a low budget monster killer on your hands that will run anything you throw its way; SUPERMAX.
knuck 13th January 2008, 18:04 Quote
glad to hear it...

now, could someone test if dual cores are a necessity in today's game ? :)
none4you 15th January 2008, 14:56 Quote
Ok here is little Test I'm Using http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=AM2NF3-VSTA&s= Mother board with x2 5200+ and x1950pro AGPx8 and find that games are remarkably stable and fluent. I did Compare tests with http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=prodcpusupport&prod_no=251&maincat_no=1 with x1950Pro PCI-e and speed gain was 1-3% Top which can be added to chipset and SATAII 300 Transfer
mclean007 16th January 2008, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lectrician
-------------------------THIS-------IS--------THE------DEFINITIVE ANSWER----------------- ON -------THIS--------SUBJECT
Hi. Abouth the AGP bus bottleneck. I am inclined to believe its a myth put forward by those that need you to continue to spend money on new parts. this really sucks if you have a budget, and want full settings in games. The Bandwidth for AGP is 2.1 GB per second; unilaterally. So with this assumption the AGP would bottleneck a game with 512 MB textures like Quake 4 at 4 frames a second.

512MB+512MB+512MB+512MB=2 GB

this is simply not the case. I run AMD 4200+, 2GB DDRII 667, -----------------512 MB Radeon 1950 pro AGP 8x---------------
I get 4790 3dmarks in 3dmark 06, 60-100 FPS in Battlefield 2142 at supermax settings, 50-85 FPS in Team Fortress 2 Supermax settings, and UT3 is georgeous at 45 FPS 2 notches below all high detail. I push WAY MORE than 2.1 GB a second on this old 8x Bus. The biggest performance boost is RAM amount, and your processor power. pair this new AGP card with 2-4 GB of ram, and a 6000+ series intel or AMD chip and youve got a low budget monster killer on your hands that will run anything you throw its way; SUPERMAX.
Sorry mate, but your analysis massively oversimplifies the issue to the point that it is just wrong (no offence!). First off, a game engine that shunted every texture in a frame across the AGP interconnect for every frame would be hugely inefficient. The graphics card caches textures onboard where it might need to use them again in future frames. Secondly, what is your source for saying that Quake 4 uses 512 MB textures?

You do not push more than 2.1GB/s over the 8x AGP bus, period. It is simply not possible. 2.1GB/s is the interface maximum speed and with overheads you won't even get that.
Da Dego 17th January 2008, 00:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lectrician
-------------------------THIS-------IS--------THE------DEFINITIVE ANSWER----------------- ON -------THIS--------SUBJECT
Hi. Abouth the AGP bus bottleneck. I am inclined to believe its a myth put forward by those that need you to continue to spend money on new parts
...insert tin-foil hat...

Wow....that just made my head hurt. :(

Though I appreciate what you're going for and that your end conclusion (that AGP is in no way bandwidth oversaturated) is accidentally correct, that was probably THE most flawed analysis I've seen as of late...and that's after some pretty bad ones from my watercooling article. ;)

This just misses a tremendous amount of how a graphics card actually processes textures, or really anything for that matter...
Harrycat88 29th January 2008, 03:44 Quote
Some of you people are not very brite.
I have a 939Dual-Sata2 which is a combo AGP/PCI-E board based on the ULI chipset..And on this board my AGP slot out runs the PCI-E slot by 2 to 5 frames and never pauses like the PCI-E slot does. I always wonder about this but now I know the answer.
The Nvidia GeForce 8800Ultra would not even max out the bandwidth of the AGP bus because the video card is only as fast as the CPU, GPU, and HT BUS is.
http://www.kyol.net/%7Eharrycat/Goldfinger.html
Hazardous 29th January 2008, 04:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrycat88


Some of you people are not very brite.

Pot... kettle
tsaal 14th February 2008, 23:19 Quote
I have a P4 Prescott 3.0 on a asus P4P800 Deluxe over clocked to 3.6 with 2 gig of ram and it still rocks. All I need to do is upgrade that x850xt I have. I have a intel duo core to and they seam no faster, probably because im running vista and on the p4 XP. Im in!!! cant wait to buy it but the price has to be inline with the pci-e versen.
Jack_Pepsi 29th April 2008, 14:18 Quote
Well, my lovely girlfriend went and gave me my birthday present early... I love my girlfriend! XD

She bought me the Sapphire 3850 and I've got a pleasant picture for you all. Enjoy!

http://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=90783dmark06dh5.jpg
kenco_uk 29th April 2008, 15:54 Quote
Oh. I was expecting a pic of er.. something else.
00tonytone 21st May 2008, 16:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by willyolio
every time you think it's going to die... another company extends its lifetime by another generation.

i'm still running an AGP system, but i really don't see the point. pretty much everything is outdated, so even if i upgrade my video card i still have nothing left for my processor.

I just recieved agp HD 3850 card, from newegg I had ati 9550 256mb before and im not sure if its the powersupply, 400watts +12volts 11A the card did work with 11A it requires 30A, but the 9550 plays counterstrike better and the HD 3850 also doesnt install the latest catalyst drivers. I think i threw away my money $178 dollars on agp instead of just upgrading to pci express. now i have to spend another 100 to get a decent powersupply to see if upgrade was worth it. What i want to ask anybody that can help me, Can I get a PSU with Pci E connector and use that to power the AGP HD 3850 card, its the same 6pin connector.
I have an Intel d865perl, 2.8 fsb 800 CPU, 1gig ddr400 and a sata 16mb HD . Any help on what PSU would work for me would be appreciated. Im not trying to keep AGP alive i was just trying to upgrade ala Cheap and think its gonna end up costing me more with worst results . lol. thank you.
68Mr.Mercenary 19th July 2008, 01:04 Quote
I have just read only a few posts and i must add that i have an msi board that has socket am2 and ddr2 support. I bought it with agp slot because i didn't want to update my agp card., to pci express (Im cheap scape ) and i only wanted bf2 to play better and didn't need that much better hardware. The new board with a geforce 6800 le 128 mb card played bf2 on high settings except for textures. I was able to increase the agp aperture to 1g in the bios to help my deficient video ram. It was amazing the smoothness of play i got from this setting in the bios.

To make a long story short i downloaded new game demos like cod4 and crysis to see how they play., and was suprised to see that they would play. however crysis would only play on medium choppy and well on low (drats) .
I was almost content to play on my xbox 360 until the price of updating to pci express + motherboard could be justified.
I noticed one day an agp card that seemed to be what i needed for my agp system. After researching owner reviews with lower system specs I was convinced i should try the card and see what it could do for me.
68Mr.Mercenary 19th July 2008, 01:27 Quote
Sorry, accedentally pushed the tab key and it posted my above comment before i was finished.
(cont from above post)
After installing the sapphire radeon hd 3850 agp 512mb card for @ $154.00 including shipping iplayed bf2 on all maxed settings and 8x antialiasing on 1600x1200 fps were 70 and up flying through the sky .

Cod 4 played on highest settings much prettiier than my xbox on 1080I.
Finally, Crysis ( i didn't have much expectations for this game on my system) played on high 1900 x 1200 on my 24 inch monitor
with all high settings(using the hack for very high settings on dx9 to emulate dx10) the game played suprisingly smooth. I and my daughter played with this demo for hours enjoying the sheer beauty of the game and graphics with all the eye candy.
This card is amazing and Im happy that i ddn't have to go to pci express yet. ( This card rules for newer games like crysis and older.

My system specs:
amd dual core 64 4000 + oc to 2.4 ghz
msi k9MM-V agp
2gig corsair paired ddr2 800mhz (all fast settings in the motherboard)
corsair 450 watt power supply 33amp on the 12 volt rail
sapphire radeon agp hd 3850 512mb with overdrive on the 3d settings to 720/929 (auto tuned)
80 gig maxtor ide harddrive and hitachi dvd rom on cable select.
(except for the hard drive , case and optical drives that everyone has you can update your rig like this for $300 or less and play all the current games , sweet !!! ) NOW MY XBOX 360 IS JUST COLLECTING DUST, LOL
brianthesnail 5th April 2009, 10:17 Quote
Hi guys
yes,i had a choice,sling my pentium 4 3.2ghz pc and get a phenom based motherboard bundle,or give my "old faithfull" a final outing with the awesome "sapphire radeon HD3850 agp",well after checking out the specifications and other reviews on the card i though i would give this six months of work experience in my "old faithfull" pc
initially i wasnt sure wether to buy the HD3850,alot of the reviews were very negative and there was alot of problems with the catylyst drivers for this card,some motherboards wouldnt recognize the HD3850 and when paying out £120 for a agp card you want it to at least work !
however after further research i discovered that both ati and sapphire have released a "agp hotfix" for both radeon HD2000/3000 based graphic cards,and apart from being a single "hotfix/patch" both companys update the agp hotfix drivers much in the same way as normal catylyst/forceware drivers
http://www.3dfx.ch/gallery/d/30314-1/Sapphire+ATi+Radeon+HD+3850+AGP+512MB+Rev_A1+0802+Top.JPG
well upon opening the box from sapphire i was impressed by the way they package the card securely in the top portion of the box with the drivers and other extras in the bottom of the box,these include a vga to dvi adapter,tv-out cables,drivers disk and also a dinky little sapphire stciker for the front fascia of your pc case
fitting the card was a breeze however this was only due to the shear size of my gaming case,however smaller cases such as dell,emachines and acer desktop cases may experience problems accepting the HD3850 ,so be sure you take measurments before purchasing the card
once inserted into my agpx8 bus and after securing the back plate to the case i needed to find 2 x 12v molex connectors needed to supply the 95w(max draw) required to run the HD3850
a 2x12v molex converter cable is supplied and this fits into the 8pin pci-express socket on the back of the card,however when connecting the molex i tend to use one set to molex connectors(most psu,s have at least 2 lines of molex connectors,i have a hiper 425watt psu which has 3)to connect to the HD3850
after closing the case and double checking all new connections i powered up the pc and and after the initiall Apprehension we all experience when using a new card the pc booted up without any problems,and as per normal windows xp recognized the new hardware and started the driver wizard which was cancelled
i had previously downloaded the "agp hotfix"( http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/CatalystAGPHotfix.aspx) which i installed using the express installation
the one thing i noticed is the time it took to install the catylyst agp hotfix and the ati driver,however after around 4 minutes the installation was complete and a reboot was required
after the restart the desktop loaded without any scares and after the screen went blank twice(which is usual when installing ati catylyst drivers) the desktop was loaded succesfully
all that was needed then was to open the "catylyst control center" and choose the "advanced" option,however for novice pc owners the "basic" option is a better choice
now for the benchmarks,well considering the speed of the pentium 4 3.2ghz and the 2gb pc3200 ram i went for the "3dmark03" benchmark which is more suited for this particular system
i will compare the results with the systems previous card(geforce 7900gs agp) to show the superior performance of the HD3850
3dmark 03(default settings)
geforce 7900gs(agp) : 14,917 3d marks
radeon HD3850(agp) : 25,891 3d marks
3dmark 06(default settings)
geforce 7900gs(agp) : 4344 3dmarks
radeon HD3850(agp) : 6313 3dmarks
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
summary : as you can see the performance when compared to the nifty geforce 7900gs is striking,when i ran 3dmark03 i was expecting around 18,000 marks however when the score 25,891 appeared i was amazed,this is more than i expected and though this score was impossible with a p4 based pc
this shows the raw power behind the HD3850 and this makes it by far the fastest agp card currently avalible to agp owners,and as cards get more powerful and with the extra cost incured to manufactuers when producing high end agp cards this could probally be the final nail in the agp bus coffin !
game performance :
some games especially "colin mcrae dirt" and "need for speed pro street" suffered severe lag however this may be the actual game code as these games are well documented to suffer from lag problems
and with direct-x-9 games such as doom3 and quake4 performance was outstanding,with frame rates over 90fps on ultra detail and 75fps on "fear" the HD3850 is a great card for those older dx9 games
and then there was "crysis",and allthough the game was initially set to low i changed this to medium and resolution 1024x768(from 800x600) and using the "crysis benchmark tool" i managed 26fps which is pretty good considering the overall settings and also since many top enthusiasts say crysis is a dual and quad core optimized game and wont run on single core processors..how wrong they were
another game which pleasently suprised me was "grid" which ran pretty well as did the legendary "bioshock" which also ran very well
so there you have it,the radeon HD3850 is a excellent card and will put some extra oomph into those pentium 4 and athlon64 systems,however make sure it can fit in your pc and also re-evaluate your power supply requirements
well done sapphire..whats next ,xfx release a agp version of the gtx260... i wish !
brianthesnail
knuck 5th April 2009, 15:35 Quote
glad it works good for you. However it doesn't seem like you need high framerates to be happy so this might be why you are satisfied by the card
azrael- 5th April 2009, 16:56 Quote
I'm happy for him too. And it seems to beat the crap out of the 7900GS, which has been the best/fastest AGP offering so far.

Personally, when I needed a good graphics card a couple of years ago, I ditched my nVidia nForce3 250GB-based mobo (AGP) for one almost identical, but based on the nForce4 (PCIe). I did a bit of math and it turned out to be the cheapest upgrade (a "fast" AGP card would cost much more than getting a new mobo and a PCIe card). But sometimes you just don't have that luxury...
wuyanxu 5th April 2009, 17:28 Quote
glad it worked out for you, brianthesnail, but you do realise most games now require a dual core?

i really wish nVidia can bring out a CUDA enabled PCI card (8400), that way, we can do Fold@Home farm much easier.
brianthesnail 6th April 2009, 18:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
glad it works good for you. However it doesn't seem like you need high framerates to be happy so this might be why you are satisfied by the card
Thanks for the quick reply,basically i went with the HD3850 as its specs were far superior to the previous 7900gs,and this was reflected in the 3dmark benchmarks which were over 25k
however i shall be converting to pci-express next month with the purchase of the "acer aspire M3641,and compared to my current system this is a goliath,gone are the pentium 4(3.2ghz) and 2gb of pc3200 ram to be replaced by a intel core 2 quad q6700 and 4gb of ddr2 ram,however it comes with a geforce 8600gt which allthough not a bad card will be quickly replaced by a radeon HD4850 or a nvidia gts250(your opinion would be appreciated)
thanks again for the reply
brianthesnail !
Bates37 10th April 2009, 17:50 Quote
I disagree with the notion that the new 3850 AGP card is useless. I myself am looking at it for a possible conversion of my old computer into a HTPC after I build a new Core i7 system. At this time I have 2 options: a) buy a new motherboard, memory, and CPU and recycle the rest of my system; b) buy the AGP 3850. I will be useing the new Core i7 system to encode the content I will be using regardless, so the thing each system must do is be able to display HD content on my HD TV. The 3850 cost about $120 without shipping. An AM2 motherboard with integrated graphics that has an HDMI port and is capable of decoding HD cost 85$ all by itself. even with a 64 x2 CPU and cheap memory you are talking $160 without shipping, and it is > $200 with a cheap Phenom. Power consumption may be an issue, but I think it minor given the system will be in hybernate except when used to veiw content on the TV. I think this is a great use of this product and can potentially save my old computer from the scrap heap.
Robspace1 27th May 2009, 08:43 Quote
Brianthesnail is 100% correct in what he says about this card. I have had it installed for about 2 months now and it's been great. I did have a Radeon 9600 and this thing is so much better, faster, and the graphics in all games is now fantastic. I have an AMD 64-3500w/ 1 gig of ram. I'm adding more soon but for now this has made a huge difference in the game play. I was not able to run Bioshock with my last card and Crysis was impossible except on the lowest settings. Now, everything is set to the highest settings and I have no crashes or errors at all. The driver that ships with the card is useless like he said but the Sapphire website has the right one, a hotfix that loads easy. This card cost me $115.00 frpm Newegg and it's given my system a few more years to run before I upgrade more. I have a 500 watt power supply and the fan on this card is super quiet. It is a long card though so be sure to check that you have room for it. This is a good deal and I'm real happy with it.
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