AMD is proudly bringing PC gamers 1.0 TeraFLOP Graphics Performance, with a single GPU that consumes only 110W of power in the HD 4850. Going head to head with the 8800GTX, 8800GTS & GT, and 9600GT series of cards. Developing a new TeraScale graphics engine, AMD is excited to deliver an impassive experience for gaming. With enhanced anti-aliasing 24X (AA) and AF, gamers will find a new realism more improved than previous versions of cards that all had AA and AF flickering sporadic problems. You’ve read our Cinema 2.0 coverage and are waiting for our detailed article on the latest 4800 series line, including ATI Radeon HD 4870 details. Now, we want to reveal one part with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 that should provide a glimpse into the new series line. With power that supports DX 10.1 fully unlike the GTX 200′s, the ATI Radeon HD 4850 brings efficiency together against the competition through features such as ATI Powerplay and ATI Avivo HD to give gamers a more enhanced experience all around.
The 8800 GTX has represented the most powerful graphics card that sane people were willing to buy for years. The 8800 Ultra is slightly faster, but at a cost of over $600 it is reserved for those with gross amounts of disposable income. From the start, we were able to run SLI ATX and get incredible performance. Nowadays the GTX is starting to become long in the tooth as far as graphics cards go, 15 months is a very long time with nothing faster to come along. The latest games are certainly pushing even a pair of GTX’s to unplayable levels at higher resolutions. So what are we owners of 30” LCD monitors to do to get playable frames at our native resolution? Enter 3-way SLI, a fully functional and much sorted extension of the Quad SLI. NVIDIA has been hard at work on multi-GPU performance and with the limitation of only 3fps pre-render in Direct X9 and below out of the way in Direct X10, the stage is set for extremely expensive graphics solutions. For those who do not remember, Quad SLI was plagued by the fact that for the money, it was a horrible investment. It offered very marginal performance benefits in all but a select few applications and thus never adopted as the true high-end solution.
Today we are testing the new ASUS EAH3850 TOP and EN8800GS TOP graphics cards in a head to head comparison. These $200 US graphics cards deliver serious performance and come with overclocked factory settings, and improved cooling solutions. We expect more from GPU manufacturers this time around. The most recent card we have with us today is the GeForce 9600 GT, which tunes in great. But alas, there is tons of competition on the other brim as the HD 3850 and 3870 graphics cards have also been able to remain very competitive. Currently the Radeon HD 3870 is priced between $190-$200 US while the GeForce 9600 GT costs roughly $170-$180 US, and both produce very similar results.
Making your own computers costs a lot. We can write about amped up stuff, but this is different. This is the market that ECS is reaching for with moderate end solutions—yet remaining very close to the GTX
ATI has been busy the past couple months getting the Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series out the door and today is the day! ATI has moved on to the 55nm process which is an improvement over the 65nm manufacturing process and both the Radeon HD 3650 and 3450 are built on the new process. You might have heard rumors about these video cards under the code names RV620 and RV635, but now that they are official they have been given real product names. The ATI Radeon HD 3650 and Radeon 3450/3470 cards all range between $49 and $99 so they are competitively priced entry-level DirectX 10.1 compliant GPUs that offer full UVD support with all the latest technology that ATI uses.
The ATI Radeon HD 3650 is the direct replacement for the ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro as you can tell. The ATI Radeon HD 3650 is active cooled with a core clock of 725MHz and a memory clock of 800MHz and will be available with two kinds of memory ICs – GDDR3 and GDDR2. The slower and older GDDR2 memory chips will be used on the $79 price point cards, while the $99 cards will feature faster GDDR3 memory ICs. The reference Radeon HD 3650 that we have today uses GDDR3 memory IC’s, so it is the $99 card. The faster clock speed and memory frequencies improve the memory bandwidth and math processing rate on the Radeon HD 3650 when compared to the older Radeon HD 2600 Pro. Also keep in mind that both the Radeon 3400 series and 3600 series are PCI Express 2.0 compliant and support DirectX 10.1 features as well as ATI PowerPlay software.
LightsMark Demo Results:
Lightsmark 2007 v1.3 showed the ATI Radeon HD 3650 doing pretty well against the ATI Radeon 3850 256MB and was able to turn in good numbers at even 1920×1200. The Sapphire Radeon HD 3450 needs more muscle to break 30FPS, but it was close.
The ATI Radeon HD 3650 and Radeon HD 3450 didn’t turn in great benchmark results, but at $49-$99 these are entry level cards and aren’t supposed to be geared at hard-core gamers. At lower resoltions with low quality settings they will easily play older DirectX 9 games, but as you saw in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. benchmark section DirectX 9 games with high quality settings are still demanding on graphics cards. If you are looking for gaming performance the ATI Radeon HD 3850 is leaps and bounds a better choice.
The XFX GeForce 8800 GT price versus performance ratio is ideal for the enthusiast community and the feature set is impressive. NVIDIA didn’t forget about you guys and has just recently released the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB video card that is aimed at lower price points. The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB has been in such high demand the price has remained above $269.99, so the need for a more budget friendly card is a welcomed addition to the GeForce 8 lineup. As the wind goes on so does the testing.
Even at smaller resolutions the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB has a hard time keeping up with the Radeon 3850 and Radeon 3870, which are both priced at or under what the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB is available at. The GeForce 8800 GT 256MB faces tough competition thanks to the Radeon 3800 series and it only clearly beat the Radeon 3800′s in Bioshock. Be sure to consider what games you play the most and the performance of the cards on them when you make your next purchase.