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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  • LostPassword - Monday, February 04, 2008 - link

    when are you guys going to actually review it? Reply
  • Mazen - Monday, March 17, 2008 - link

    Would be nice to finally see that review Reply
  • Mazen - Monday, January 28, 2008 - link

    Thanks for that article. I would love to see you guys pushing these cards at 2560x1600 resolution when decoding a H.264 or VC-1 to see if they are powerful enough to manage 1600p. I think that AMD put out in their press release that the 3450 will have hiccups at 1440p but that the 3470 will be able to manage that resolution just fine. Can we please please (pretty please) see if these card will handle decoding at that resolution? Reply
  • dvijaydev46 - Thursday, January 24, 2008 - link

    Why isn't there a review on those newest ATI products yet? legitreviews has responded to it long ago. Reply
  • eye smite - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    First of all, yesterday on dailytech the sister site to this one, in the daily reviews section are websites already reviewing the HD3870X2 card and it showing in most benchmarks a noticeable lead of the top nvidia card.

    Second, if ATI gives anandtech a card to test last, who can blame them. I mean after all they published a review on the phenom that was more a rant than a review on the cpu. I say up the ra to the editors and writers at anand. I come here for a good laugh from time to time, but reading your articles for the last few months has me rating you in the same class as gizmodo and what they did at CES 2008. Hope you all go back to journalistic basics and become a reputable site like Tom's Hardware again one day.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Thursday, January 24, 2008 - link

    I say up the ra to the editors and writers at anand. I come here for a good laugh from time to time, but reading your articles for the last few months has me rating you in the same class as gizmodo and what they did at CES 2008. Hope you all go back to journalistic basics and become a reputable site like Tom's Hardware again one day.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I LoL'ed. Toms Hardware rofl... That was a good one!
    Reply
  • StormEffect - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    I'm also curious how these cards will compete with the current Nvidia low and mid range cards. Until the G92 refresh hits those segments, it looks like ATI will be leading those markets.

    Also, the 3870 X2 utilizes internal crossfire. Games do not need crossfire compatibility to run on the 3870 X2. The card appears as a single GPU to the OS. There are already reviews for the 3870 X2, and it looks as though ATI has taken the crown in a few benchmarks.
    Reply
  • djc208 - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    I'm looking forward to how these actually handle HD playback. I stayed away from the 2400 in my HTPC because the benchmarks said it wasn't quit powerful enough for HD playback.
    If the $50 3450 can handle H.264 playback at HDTV resolutions with no issues I can skip the $250 SageTV HD extender and use that money for the new Hauppage HD capture card and one of these instead.
    Reply
  • Slash3 - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    I4U has a review of the Radeon HD 3450 HTPC (passive cooling, low profile) up here:

    http://www.i4u.com/section-viewarticle-368.html">http://www.i4u.com/section-viewarticle-368.html

    It looks like it offloads a significant amount of the video decoding to the GPU, and could be the perfect HTPC card for a lot of people.
    Reply
  • themadmilkman - Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - link

    Do these cards REALLY need active cooling? Judging by the size of the heatsink and fan, and the size of heatsinks on other cards that have been replaced with passive cooling, it doesn't seem like these cards would actually need to be actively cooled.

    I may be wrong, of course, since conjectures based off of one chart and a few pictures are often wrong. But if the 3650 performs well (I'm currently running a 7600GS, it should definitely be an upgrade) and a silent version is produced, I may have a new card.
    Reply

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