Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB Ruby Edition

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB Overclocked Ruby Edition performed just how we had expected.  WIth its higher than stock GPU and memory clock speeds, the Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB Overclocked Ruby Edition was able to outpace Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 512MB in all of our tests, and it kept pace or finished just behind the more powerful Radeon HD 3870.  The Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB Overclocked Ruby Edition also traded victories with its NVIDIA-based competition, but the GeForce 8800 series cards we tested were clearly faster overall.

No one is ever going to mistake a Radeon HD 3850 for a top-of-the-line, flagship graphics card.  ATI/AMD is currently ceding the ultra high-end to NVIDIA, whose 8800 cards have been riding high for some time now, and the 9800 seems to only be continuing that tradition.  However, for the price, the HD 3850 is quite an able performer.  With prices hovering around $169, buying one card is an easy sell; buying more than one and setting them up in a CrossFire setup has an even more promising outlook.

Diamond's Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB might not win much praise for its looks, but we can't be anything less than satisfied by its performance, considering its price.  Similarly, although the package might also lack some of the pizzazz of other manufacturers, the bundle is sufficient enough for most users and also helps keep the price consistent with other brands, which would otherwise have gone up with the addition of the extra cooling.  Of course, this is offset some by said heatsink requiring an extra slot's worth of room in your chassis, but that's a minor grievance.


  • Splits the difference between default HD 3850 and HD 3870
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Extra headroom to raise speeds even further 
  • Requires dual-slots
  • Still no match for NVIDIA's cards

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