Diamond Viper Radeon HD 3870 Showcase

Closer look at the Viper Radeon HD 3870s


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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