ATI Radeon HD 3870 and 3850: 55nm RV670

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Before we bring this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter and also took some notes regarding its noise output. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used and to explain how loud the configurations were under load. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the video cards alone.
 
 

Total System Power Consumption & Acoustics
It's All About the Watts and Decibels




While idling and under load, the new Radeon HD 3970 and 3850 cards consumed significnatly less power than all but the entry level Radeon HD 2600 XT and GeForce 8600 GTS cards.  The design changes and move to a 55nm process paid huge dividens in terms of power consumption.  Keep in mind, the Radeon HD 3870 performs on par with the Radeon HD 2900 XT and GeForce 8800 GTS, while using less power.  That makes the Radeon HD 38x0 series a winner in the performance-per-watt department.  What a difference a few months can make.

In terms of noise output, we're happy to report the new Radeons were barely audible over the noise produced by our test system's CPU cooler, PSU fans, and hard drive.  During normal operation, these cards are significantly quieter than the Radeon HD 2900 XT and are on par with or quieter than NVIDIA's offerings.

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 Hi All,

 

Great review on both cards. It looks as though AMD/ATI is back in the Graphics card game again. That's great for us Gamers because now Price Wars! 

I do have a question, has AMD/ATI abandoned the High End Graphics card arena? 

 

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Definitely not, at least according to our sources. The first half of 08 should bring new high-end toys from both sides of the Graphics pond!

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 Holy power consumption Batman!! It is definately a more utility bill friendly card than the 2900 (consuming about half its idle and load power) and the performance output really isn't bad at all -- as I would almost input that the 2900's was when compared to the 8xxx series especially with power consumption and price comparison was taken into the mix..

It's just too bad it took ATI more than a year to semi-catch up with nVidia's 8 series but hopefully they can stay on the ball eh? Exciting exciting.

 

BTW: if you admins are sick of these taking up space in the labs I can probably take them off your hands -- if you're lucky I mean Big Smile 

 

EDIT: Just also noticed the 8870s are quite a bit cheaper than the 8800GT's also .... what to do, what to do.... 

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Good to see DAMMIT is getting competitive again in the GPU market. They still need to get their high end parts up there though. Even though where the bulk of sales occurs is mainstream not having those high end parts affects people's purchasing decisions. People want to go with the company that looks like they are superior on all fronts. Hopefully their next GPU can actually rival Nvidia's high end. Image is important.

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 Well getting a 55nm process down for the GPU is pretty sweet in itself -- more space and less heat :) :) Too bad AMD isn't following this up with 55nm CPU  eh? ;)

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