ASUS EAH3870 512MB Graphics Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     April 13, 2008

The Present ATI Lineup

Well, this is what ATI has to offer us for the next few months at least and we must say: it is a lot more straightforward than the much-maligned Nvidia lineup. At the top of the heap there is the dual-GPU HD3870X2 which performs quite well as long as the game you are playing supports Crossfire. At less than half the price of their flagship card, ATI has the HD3870 on tap which at about $200 offers surprising value for your money and as we have seen in the past at can handle literally any game at low to mid resolutions. Finally we have the HD3850 and the rest of the ATI lineup which contribute of round out a lineup which seems to have something for everyone. All in all, it seems like ATI is really focusing on value in this round of the graphics card war since they just don’t have anything that can compete blow-for-blow against what Nvidia is offering. This has contributed to make GPUs which offer amazing performance all that more accessible to many customers. ATI has shown that the new battles for market supremacy have moved away from the ultra high-end market and now focus on the sub-$400 segment.

ASUS HD3870 TOP Specifications

To make this card more appealing to a wider customer base, ASUS has overclocked both the core and the memory to various degrees. We have seen this before with their TOP editions but this time neither area gets too much of an overclock. Considering overclocking an ATI card carries with it the penalty of a voided warranty more often than not, this pre-overclocking could prove to be a boon for this card’s overall performance without the risk of a voided warranty.
An overclock of 74Mhz equals a less than ten percent increase in core clocks but this should nonetheless equate some increased framerates in some games. However, a mere 34Mhz overclock on the memory is pretty anemic and looks like nothing more than window dressing.

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