Since the release of the 3800 series last year, we've been waiting for AMD to introduce both the lower and upper end of their product line. The Radeon HD 3870 and HD 3850 are good values, and today we see the low end of the market get a much needed update. We still have to wait a short while to talk about new high end hardware, but hopefully AMD will be able to pull out something that puts them back in competition there.

While the lack of attention to the high end from AMD might not impact most graphics hardware buyers directly, the high end market does represent high margins and the battle between NVIDIA and AMD for leadership can be quite entertaining to watch at times. On top of that, high end hardware enables engine developers to test techniques and ideas on what will inevitably be future low end hardware. We really hope AMD gets back in the game soon for the sake of advancing the industry.

For now, we don't have low end hardware so we can't do any performance comparisons right now. AMD has promised a very hard launch, so the delay between now and when we will see a performance review should be relatively short. In the meantime we'll take a look at the hardware specs and new technologies that are part of the 3600 and 3400 series parts.

The Hardware
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  • murphyslabrat - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    However, sometimes a few whiffs of aluminum and a 30mm fan can be a cheaper way to achieve a certain BTU rating than pure aluminum. However, you can be assured that there will be passively cooled models, but they'll just cost a wee bit more.

    All in all, this is essentially what I was expecting. Nothing really new, just shrunken a little and given a more efficient naming scheme. Let's hear it for AMD.
    Reply
  • themadmilkman - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    The extra price is certainly worth it to me. I guess more than anything I'm hoping that the passively-cooled version isn't too large. A 1-slot solution would be ideal.

    I guess we'll see on Monday.
    Reply
  • themadmilkman - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    It looks like the 3450 is a half-height card, or at least available as one? And available passively cooled stock. I can imagine that becoming very popular with the HTPC crowd. Reply
  • legoman666 - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    indeed. If a 8800GT can be passively cooled, then these cards can be passively cooled. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    I though you were gone from AI Derek - it seems like Anand has written all the recent GPU articles.

    Looking forward to the dual-3870 card review any hour now...
    Reply
  • Furen - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    If rumors are right, try next monday :P Reply
  • TechLuster - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    Yeah, the Inquirer is reporting a delay to next Monday.

    However, Tom's Hardware "mistakenly" posted their review a couple hours ago, but they've since taken it down. The only benchmarks I got a chance to look at were of Crysis, where the 3870 X2 was leading the 8800 Ultra on high settings w/ no AA. Here are the numbers they got:

    1680x1050:
    3780 X2: 33.3
    8800 Ultra: 32.6
    8800 GTS 512: 30.4
    3870: 23.3

    1920x1200:
    3870 X2: 29.6
    8800 Ultra: 27.1
    8800 GTS 512: 25.5
    3870: 19.2

    They also gave figures with AA (which typically doesn't and didn't in this case favor the R600 architecture), but these generally weren't playable, and Crysis is a game that looks OK without AA. Considering that Crysis tends to favor the 8800 over the 3800 by more than the average disparity between these cards, I think these numbers bode well for the 3870 X2.

    I kind of figured at the time that the review would probably be taken down, and I considered opening all the windows in tabs so that I'd have all the info before it disappeared. Now I'm kicking myself. Oh well, it's five more days.
    Reply
  • - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    There is a review here: http://www.fpslabs.com/reviews/video/amd-radeon-hd...">http://www.fpslabs.com/reviews/video/amd-radeon-hd... Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    I thought crossfire didnt work on crysis yet, so the 3870x2 should only be as fast as one 3870.

    Btw how do these new cards differ from the 2400/2600, or are they just renamed ones?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    Derek's not gone... he just doesn't respond well to pneumonia (among other things). Welcome back to the land of the living - try to stick around a while! Reply

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