Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3870 Showcase

Performance Summary and Conclusion


Performance Summary: Currently, the Radeon HD 3870 is ATI's mid-range GPU offering, and Diamond has produced two cards that did not disappoint.  The first is essentially just a re-brand, using the core and memory speeds called for by ATI's specs, while the second is an overclocked version stocked with 1GB of memory, albeit slower GDDR3.  Both performed well throughout our testing suite, but the edge overall will go to the 1GB-laden Viper, whose frame rates typically eclipsed its brethren by a few percentage points.

Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3870 512MB GDDR4 / 1GB GDDR3

Normally, when we've got a couple of pieces of hardware to cover, we break up our conclusion to cover each piece's strengths and weaknesses, but we felt we would just be covering the same ground too often in this article.  Thus we decided to wrap them both up in a single, succinct, conclusion, yet still hope to make a few points where the cards differ.

Diamond continues the tradition of the Viper brand name by releasing dual versions based on the Radeon HD 3870 GPU.  While the benchmarks prove that NVIDIA still holds the upper hand in performance, it's fair to say that ATI has a good competitor in the price vs. performance department, with many HD 3870 models, including Diamond's 512MB version, currently hovering around $150 these days.  The 1GB GDDR3 version comes a higher clocked GPU to go along with the double sized memory buffer, but these additions didn't offer all that much more performance.  Couple the overclocked1GB model's only slightly higher performance with its significantly higher price of around $230 ($190 with current MIR), and it's difficult to justify spending the extra money, especially now that the Radeon HD 4850 has arrived for about the same price.

Each cards' retail bundle also offer little other than a basic list of extras, differing with whichever card you choose.  It was good to see the extra cables found in the 1GB Viper's box, but surely there's not enough there to even help mitigate the price difference.  With the way things are now, we're feeling snakebit, as it's almost a toss-up between these two Vipers.  The 512MB performed well, and is cheaper, but really doesn't offer anything new that we haven't seen before.  On the other hand, the 1GB gave us better numbers, yet the price point makes it a hard sell.

  • Provide some good performance for the price 
  • Low noise output 
  • Choice of 512MB or 1GB models
  • Two slot coolers
  • Still lagging behind NVIDIA's parts
  • 1GB model stuck with slower GDDR3


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