Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3870 Showcase - HotHardware

Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3870 Showcase

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No, you're not seeing double here.  The two HD 3870 variants that Diamond released are twins with the only immediately noticeable difference being the sticker placed over the cooling apparatus.  The "standard" model is marked as the HD3870 DDR4, while the overclocked model remains known only as HD3870 - no mention is made to the overclocked status, nor the larger memory buffer found onboard.  Other than these markings and Ruby's stern visage, there is little that Diamond has done differently when compared to ATI's initial design for the Radeon HD 3870.

     

The dual slot cooler consists of a rear-mounted fan that starts out a bit noisy while booting up a PC, but quickly settles down during normal operation and doesn't produce enough noise output to become a bother.  Heat that is transferred from the RV670 using a set of heatpipes to the copper heatsink mounted on top, running nearly the entire length of the card.  Small vents in the plastic allow some heat dissipation, but the majority of the airflow rushes out the end of the card, and thus out of the chassis.

     

Output consists of a standard dual-DVI setup, with a S-VIDEO/HD port thrown in between.  Used in conjunction with the provided adapters, a user can connect their PC to a digital/analog combo, or two flatscreens using DVI and/or HDMI inputs.  The sub-$200 price point of these cards makes them not only a good choice for running one card, but also running multiple cards as well in a CrossFire setup, using the connectors along the topside of the card (again, this is a reason why both cards should come with the bridge necessary to make such a connection).

     

Before wrapping things up, we decided to get a closer look at the heatsink, and the memory ICs underneath.  Unscrewing the brace on the backside of one of the cards, we easily popped off the copper plate, which uses adhesive tape to attach itself squarely to the memory and a smattering of thermal paste between the GPU and the back of the heatsink..  The 70mm fan comes by the way of Everflow, model R127015DL, which reaches a max speed of 3000rpm and can generate airflow of about 25 CFM at a sound level of 28 dB.  Throughout our testing, we couldn't recall ever coming close to the highest rated speeds, meaning that temperatures were being held in check by the cooling methods combined with the relatively lower power consumption of the RV670.

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 Diamond Multimedia was one of HotHardware's sponsors in the HotHardware April Sweepstakes. Soon after that contest I remember reading a rather sad review of a Diamond Viper Radeon 3650 1GB HERE. I felt sad that the Diamond card rated so poorly in that review, but I was also proud that HotHardware pulled no punches. Now, after reading this latest review, I would consider Diamond products at the top of my list if I were in the market for a new video-graphic solution!

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I had a Diamond 9600 in a PIII build a few years ago... it did the job well enough.

BTW: How's the search for a $300 PC for your sister in-law coming? Tiger Direct has excellent bare-bones deals!

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Super Dave:

 Diamond Multimedia was one of HotHardware's sponsors in the HotHardware April Sweepstakes. Soon after that contest I remember reading a rather sad review of a Diamond Viper Radeon 3650 1GB HERE. I felt sad that the Diamond card rated so poorly in that review, but I was also proud that HotHardware pulled no punches. Now, after reading this latest review, I would consider Diamond products at the top of my list if I were in the market for a new video-graphic solution!

Hi All

That's what I like about HH Reviews. You can count on them to give you a unbiased Review.

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Ive always been a fan of nvidia but considering Ati,s offerings as of recent I could be swayed to change!Always looking for the fastest and the lowest cost option.Being an enthusiast and being financially challenged Im always struggling over my wants and my actual needs,and my wants usually at least in my mind overtakes my needs.Kinda of like buying a car just cheaper!

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visiontek imo is one of the best ati board partners because of their life time warranty. diamond... well i would love to say my experience with them has been great... but it hasn't and im still awaiting a working 3870x2. my favorite brand though has to be xfx. i had to rma a card one, they upgraded me, and the rma took about a week (total.. from the time i sent in to when i got it back!).

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