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Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512MB Atomic
Posted by newsbot on February 04th 2008

Sapphire’s Radeon HD 3870 512MB Atomic is a ground breakingproduct inmany respects, but sadly where it falls short at the moment is on theperformance side of things. From what we understand, since the launchof the Radeon HD 3870 X2, the RV670 chips are suffering from evenhigher demand than they were before. This has resulted in the prices ofthe standard cards increasing slightly, and bringing them more intoline with Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GT.This is a problem for AMD/ATI, because the chip just isn’t fastenough—even when it’s overclocked like Sapphire’s excellent example wehave here today. Hopefully, we’ll see the price come down again verysoon because that’s ultimately having an effect on the price of thecard we’re reviewing here today. Sapphire says that the card should behitting a £165-170 price point, but retailers are currently askingcustomers to pay up to £200 (inc. VAT), which puts it almost on priceparity with the appreciably faster GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB!The cheapest we’ve found the card for is £188 (inc. VAT) on Dabs,which is on the expensive side, but it sounds easier to stomach thanthe £200 other retailers are expecting customers to pay for thisgraphics card. Sapphire was quick to point out that the card is alimited edition—more of a technology showcase if you will—than a cardit expects everyone to rush out and buy.What we can take away from this though is the fact that there has beensome true innovation here—something that we don’t see all that oftenfrom add-in board partners. The technology that Sapphire has showcasedhere is nothing short of awesome – it not only looks good on paper, butalso works incredibly well in practice as it managed to knock tendegrees off the load temperatures of a reference Radeon HD 3870! What’smore impressive though is the fact that Sapphire’s card is running atmuch higher clock speeds than the reference card.

View article at bit-tech.net

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