Radeon HD 3870 X2 Round-Up: Asus, HIS

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: All of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 cards we’ve looked at in this round-up performed as expected.  The Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB and HIS Radeon HD 3870 X2 performed similarly to each other and to AMD’s reference design, which was to be expected considering all of the cards have the same features and specifications.  The Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP, however, had a slight advantage in all of the benchmarks (with the exception of the anomaly in 3DMark06’s SM2.0 test) thanks to its higher core GPU and memory clock frequencies.

Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB:
The Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB is a solid offering from Asus.  It doesn’t differ from AMD’s reference design, save for its custom fan-shroud decal and accessory bundle, but neither will most other X2 cards.  Asus does throw in a full version game with the card, Company of Heroes: Opposoing Forces, that sweetens the deal somewhat.  In addition, the company’s reputation is second to none, which is sure to entice some consumers.  This card is difficult to find for sale at the moment, but we have seen it for sale for $449.  At that price, the Asus EAH3870 X2 1G is right in-line with other X2 offerings despite the inclusion of CoH and some other value added accessories.

  • Great Performance
  • Decent Bundle
  • Can't Find It For Sale Yet

HIS Radeon HD 3870 X2:

Form a technical standpoint, the HIS Radeon HD 3870 X2 is virtually identical to the Asus EAH3870 X2.  It offers the same features and performance and even looks almost the same, minus a decal or two.  HIS’ bundle is a little better than Asus’ though.  In our opinion, Valve’s Black Box gaming bundle is more valuable than a copy of CoH.  HIS’s card also comes in at $449, like other Radeon HD 3870 X2s, so there’s no price differentiation to speak of.  Overall, the HIS Radeon HD 3870 X2 is nice, but it doesn’t’ stand out in any meaningful way in light of other Radeon HD 3870 X2 cards.

  • Great Performance
  • Solid Bundle
  • No Stand-Out Features

Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP:
As long as the Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP isn’t prohibitively expensive in light of other Radeon HD 3870 X2 cards, we think it will be “the” X2 to own.  The Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP has a pretty good bundle, and a feature set that is second to none.  Factory overclocked for increased performance? Check.  Quad DVI-outputs?  Check.  A custom, quiet cooling solution?  Check.  In terms of features and performance, the Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP is the most powerful and feature rich Radeon out there currently.  We just can’t find it for sale anywhere just yet.  Hopefully it’ll be available soon and at a competitive price.

Update: We've heard some reports of instability and strange driver behavior with the Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP and are looking into them further.  So far, we've tried our sample on an X38 and a 790FX mobo with 32-bit Windows Vista and it is working fine, however.  We'll post more information about this issue when we have it.

Update: We've done some more testing with the EAH3870X2 1GB TOP and had no trouble in our typical testing environment (Vista 32-bit).  We should note, however, that we also tried the card briefly under 64-bit Vista with a Phenom / 790FX combo, and did experience a D3D error with 3DMark06.  Asus has also gotten back to us and said verbatim that there is a, "delay in getting the cards out to the channel. We still plan to have the SKUs, but cannot give you a firm availability date. The problem is that allocation on the 3870 is tight in general." 

Update: Asus has set the price of the EAH3870X2 1GB TOP at $479, which makes the card well worth the upgrade from a standard X2 in our opinion.  They should be hitting store shelves soon.

  • Quiet, Custom Cooler
  • Factory Overclocked
  • Quad DVI Outputs
  • Great Performance
  • Decent Performance
  • Unsure of Pricing
  • Not Available Yet

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