Out with the Old, in with the Mid-Range

We did this comparison in our 8800 GT review and decided to port the numbers over here too. To make the comparison a little more dramatic, we're pitting the lowly Radeon HD 3850 against the some of the previous kings of the hill: the GeForce 7950 GT and the Radeon X1950 XTX.

At only $179, the Radeon HD 3850 manages to outperform both cards. You might view Bioshock as an exception but keep in mind that the X1950 XTX is running the DX9 codepath while the Radeon HD 3850 is running a more GPU-intensive DX10 path, the new midrange card still wins.

Mid-Range Battle: Radeon HD 3850 vs. GeForce 8600 GTS Multi-GPU Scaling: Two 3850s = One 8800 GTX?
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  • dm0r - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Loved the review and also the 3850....this is the real midrange card ill buy...excellent power consumption.
    Just only 1 thing missing is the temperature of the gpu's, but anyway excellent review
    Thanks
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Why are you recommending people wait for the 256MB of the GT? That model has no bearing on anything for people playing Crysis, CoD4, World in Conflict, etc. All the testing done on the 512MB GT shows that 512MB is really the new minimum for vRAM for gamers running a 19" or larger display and the 256MB model is well and truly irrelevant to their purchase options.
    Instead, the reason they should wait a couple weeks is just to see how the 512MB's availability and pricing changes.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    I really really like the new style to the charts and graphs. Everything is very easy to read and understand! Much improved over some older review designs! =)

    Also, lol @ how pathetic the 8600GT performs! :D
    Reply
  • Iger - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Actually, in terms of power consumption I would call this round a win for AMD. My home PC is on 24/7, but I really get to play on it for maybe a couple of hours a day at best (actually, probably, much less). AMD leads idle consumption by 40w, while losing the load power by 5. I think for pretty much every one 3870 will turn out cheaper than 8800GT. And I think it's important enough to be mentioned in article (no offence - just trying to be helpful).

    About prices - currently on overclocker.co.uk 8800GT 512 is preorderable for 350$, 8800GT 256 - for 290$, 3870 - for 320$ and 3850 - for 235$ (and AMD cards actually are listed in stock(!!) - impressive).
    With such disposition I would be close to buying a 3850 atm, btw... But, anyway, europe's prices are terrible :(

    Thanks very much for the article - it'll serve to satisfy at least some hunger before Phenom's ;)

    Ilya.
    Reply
  • Leadthorns - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Some review sights suggest that the IQ is marginally better on the 3870. Would be interested to know your take on this Reply
  • lux4424 - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    In 2006 there were number of articles and presentations about benefits of new WDDM (Windows Vista Driver Model). These also mentioned WDDM 2.1, coming with DX10.1, and the benefits it should bring. Couple of examples:
    quote:

    WinHEC 2006, http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/b/9/5b970...">Future Directions In Graphics:
    *) Move to preemptive context switching and page-level memory management
    *) Video, Glitch-resilience: Preemptive context switching in WDDM 2.1 is key
    *) WDDM 2.1 – efficient GPU virtualization


    quote:

    WinHEC 2006, http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/b/9/5b970...">Desktop And Presentation Impact On Hardware Design:
    *) Advanced Scheduling with page level context switching
    *) Direct impact on desktop scenarios



    Since then it's absolute silence on the matter. It would be really great if Anandtech would cover the promises made WRT WDDM 2.1 (DX10.1) or even WDDM 2.0 (DX10) after SP1 for Vista is released.

    Regards
    Reply
  • GTMan - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Sentence with no ending...

    "Hopefully with DX11 Microsoft will be a little more used to the"

    Thanks for the article, interesting reading.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    eep, thanks :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • NullSubroutine - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    I am extremely disappointed in the review of the product.

    1) Only Vista was used, though XP has a lot larger user base.

    2) Limited variety of games.

    3) Limited variation of AF/AA

    4) No UVD tests.

    All could be forgiven if the title would have included First Look: DX10. I understand there is a limited time to do tests and it seems you had trouble getting your samples so this could lead to the problem. I usually look to anand for the most complete review of products (rather than having to look at many different incomplete ones sites use), but I believe this review to be incomplete and not what I expect from Anandtech.

    I await follow up reviews to reinstate my faith in this site. (and yes I am sure I will modded down as I will probably been seen as a 'hater' rather than trying to give constructive critism.

    Reply
  • Locut0s - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    1) Only Vista was used, though XP has a lot larger user base.

    You answered your own question there. Remember this card is aimed at the midrange not the enthusiast and even more of these consumers are using XP.

    2) Limited variety of games.

    The games covered though are all the important big names that actually stress these cards and show what they are made of.

    3) Limited variation of AF/AA

    See Anand's reply above

    4) No UVD tests.

    You can see previous reviews to see UVD performance. I doubt this has changed at all since the hardware is identical.
    Reply

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