The Hardwdare

The basic architecture of the 3600 and 3400 series isn't any different from the 3800 series. All cards support DX 10.1, UVD, PCIe 2.0, and is fabbed using a 55nm process. The specific features of each card are as follows:


The new parts are all slated to be sub $100, and the lowest end option is set at $50. This high volume market is key because it defines base line add-in graphics performance going forward. For DX 10.1 compliant cards, these are the base line, and when developers start targeting that as a minimum spec these cards will need to be considered.

None of these cards require external power, as they all come in at under the 75W available from the motherboard. The low end 3450 can be built with passive cooling, but all the other options require some sort of active cooling. These should also make good HTPC cards, as they support full HD resolution and all UVD features. The 3470 is needed for upscaling to the highest resolutions, but for a 1080p television the 3450 should be alright. It does seem a bit lopsided to pair a 2560x1600 monitor with a sub $100 video card anyway. We will certainly test all this out when we get the chance.

We can see from the hardware specs that these new cards will outpace current offerings from AMD at the same price points. This should be a nice change from the recent trend of updating a lineup without offering any real performance incentive over older hardware in the low end and midrange arenas. AMD is reporting some very nice looking improvements, but we'd rather wait until we run our own numbers to talk about what to expect.

In addition to the hardware specs above, these new parts do introduce some new technologies. Both the 3600 and 3400 lineup support DisplayPort with the first on silicon implementation in the industry. The 3400 series also supports Hybrid Graphics which combines the power of on-board and add-in graphics to increase the potential graphics power for cheap hardware.

Index DisplayPort and Hybrid Graphics
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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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