Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3850 512MB Ruby Edition

Base System and 3DMark06 Results

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on an MSI P6N Diamond motherboard powered by a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo E6550 processor and 2GB of low-latency Corsair RAM. The first thing we did when configuring our test systems was enter into the BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS, and installed the latest DX10 redist and various hotfixes along with the necessary drivers and applications.

HotHardware's Test System
Viewing the Ultimate Vista

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Cards -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drive -


Intel Core 2 Duo E6550

MSI P6N Diamond
nForce680i SLI Chipset

Diamond Radeon HD 3850 512MB OC
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870
ATI Radeon HD 3850
PNY GeForce 8800 GTS 512
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

2GB Corsair Dominator DDR2
2x1GB, 4-4-4-12 (1T)

Integrated Creative X-Fi

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
750GB - 7200rpm - SATAII

OS -

Direct X -

Video Drivers -

Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX 9 -
DirectX 10 -
OpenGL -
DirectX 10 -
DirectX 10 -
DirectX 10 -


Windows Vista Ultimate

DirectX 10

NVIDIA Forceware v169.25
ATI Catalyst v8.3


3DMark06 v1.1.0
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Company of Heroes
ET: Quake Wars 1.4
Crysis Single-Player Demo
Bioshock 1.1
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark06 v1.1.0
Details: www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06

3DMark06 is the most recent addition to the 3DMark franchise. This version differs from 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.

In this mid-range round-up of graphics cards, we see that the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 from PNY rules the roost.  This card put up the highest scores in both Shader Model tests, and easily claimed the overall 3DMark score as well.  The Radeon HD 3870 and Geforce 8800 GT jockeyed for second place with SM 2.0 performance squarely in NVIDIA's corner, yet SM 3.0 testing in ATI's favor.  Although we're a bit used to seeing the stock HD 3850 fall behind the others, we were pleased to see that Diamond's overclocked model cut the gap somewhat, winding up only 400 points behind the HD 3870 overall.

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