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Thread: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

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    AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    November is a make-or-break month for AMD. The Radeon HD 3800 family is the first three products that it hopes will revive its flagging fortune. Well, though priced at only £140, the Radeon HD 3870 certainly has the beating of the Radeon HD 2900 but does that make it the new mid-market king?
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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Well, the most generous thing that can be said about the card is that AMD/ATi have achieved their design goals. They've reduced the HD2900XT to the price area it should have been in the first place.


    Still, if nVidia don't start shipping the 8800GT in greater numbers soon, people might be forced into purchasing one of these!

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    So this is basically a revised HD2900XT then ?

    Wonder how well the HD 3850 will perform...
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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    That sure made me feel good about my 8800GT purchase. I was wondering on launch day whether to wait and Im glad I didnt. I'd have been left with no stock anywhere for the 8800GT and the lower performing 3870.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    It is worth pointing out that these are the benchmark optimised drivers which degrade visual quality in some games - most notably Crysis, perhaps the reason why it wouldn't run at 1680x1050 on the GTS? Easy test is to rename the game .exe and then play it.

    The 3870 isn't as fast as I was expecting, but it still beats the 8800GT in every other way. The choice is now whether to get a 8800GT and strap on a 3rd party cooler and cope with the drivers, or to get the 3870 and just run it as it is... I still think it'll be the ATi road I'll be going down at the moment.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Will Hexus be re-evaluating the bang for buck metric now that Crysis has been released? Seems unfair to only include titles that favour the nVidia card - Crysis is a AAA title after all.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Will Hexus be re-evaluating the bang for buck metric now that Crysis has been released? Seems unfair to only include titles that favour the nVidia card - Crysis is a AAA title after all.
    half the problem is so many favour the GT because so many or "way its meant to be played" titles. i've said it elsewhere, and don't want to be banging the drum about it but. surely it ATi dropped millions to multiple game makers from the beginning of game design all the games would run faster on their kit? maybe games companies shouldn't give in and make games the way THEY want to, and then see who can make the better card. its bordering on antitrust practice, nvidia are paying companies to make it very difficult for ATi to compete. I get the feeling if ATi had less cannucks and more american's working for them a lawsuit would already be well underway(with merit or not).

    in non "way its meant to be played" titles the 3780 seems to be 3-10% slower, and in the "wimtbp" titles its like 15-50% slower. in the 3-10% slower, its got 100 million transistors left, offers a few more full features, UVD and dx10.1 and the ring bus which take up some transistors so its got a decent number less comparable transistors yet almost performs the same in games nvidia hasn't pumped millions into. says to me the 3870 is the better architechture.

    also worth bearing in mind is this, Ati seem to refuse to add more than 16rops to a card, which work at half speed for FP32 numbers, meaning 8 pixels per clock in worst case. this is bad more for the highest framerate, rather than the lowest. a few reviews of the GT(non release reviews, which were dodgey to say the least) show a few games have higher average and max framerate, but the 2900xt has a higher minimum framerate in a few games. in the most shader intensive moments when ati can manage to pull out use of all 5 streamrprocessesors in the 64 clusters of them it can give a better framerate. so a card with lower max can affect the average framerate, while still having a higher minimum framerate which could lead to it being more playable despite worse average. reviews need to start comparing minimum framerates.


    also does anyone know if ATI's way its meant to be played style program is actually doing anything. obviously if they are helping a few guys make their games better on ati kit it would help them, but if they've only just started then games might not be due for a few years. or their program might be dead, i just don't know anything about it.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Will Hexus be re-evaluating the bang for buck metric now that Crysis has been released? Seems unfair to only include titles that favour the nVidia card - Crysis is a AAA title after all.
    i agree - 2 of the titles are nvidia the way its meant to be played plus Quake which runs on a notoriously nvidia-friendly game engine

    the one thing that imo holds hexus's reviews back are the small number of games it uses - what about games like Bioshock, World In Conflict, etc

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Kalniel,

    In a nutshell, yes. Full-game Crysis is on the list. Bear in mind that it's another TWIMTBP-sponsored title, though.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    YorkieBen

    Take a look at the vast majority of games and you will see that NVIDIA's dev-rel team is practically omnipresent.

    We're adding more games to the testing suite. Rest assured that we're not favouring NVIDIA specifically.

    Half-Life 2's updates has caused previous results to become invalid. World In Conflict runs faster on NVIDIA hardware too.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarinder View Post
    YorkieBen

    Take a look at the vast majority of games and you will see that NVIDIA's dev-rel team is practically omnipresent.

    We're adding more games to the testing suite. Rest assured that we're not favouring NVIDIA specifically.

    Half-Life 2's updates has caused previous results to become invalid. World In Conflict runs faster on NVIDIA hardware too.
    this is something thats basically too true, TWIMTBP is god damn everywhere. which is why i brought up the antitrust thing. if microsoft paid intel a couple billion so OSX would run terribly on intel chips, well that would be the software equivilent and everyone would be up in arms over it. or if intel paid MS to make microsoft run like crap on amd chips, again the same thing would happen. the reason i think it should stop completely, instead of ATi trying to compete with them is, if they both wanted to offer crysis team money, they'd end up basically putting in bids in an attempt to win the game for their company, which would increase the amount of money the companies put in, and would end up doing it for even more games. if nvidia/ati start dumping 10's of millions into games to make them run better on their hardware, the price will simply be passed on to us when we buy the cards.


    could you please have someone write an editorial bashing the heck out of ocuk to highlight the fact that they raise prices, other stores raise them in turn and there seems to be a fairly serious "anti competition" agreement going on. because for instance, quite a few places had the 2900xt at £230 on release day, then ocuk put theirs up at £270, suddenly all the places with cheap cards repriced them in line, because why not make more profit, off us. then instead of prices easing up after stock became easier to get, they simply stayed the same for ages, when it was obvious they were all getting in cards that would sell at a profit at £230.

    ocuk also do this very very standard forum announcement of "we're the best in the world and will be the only ones with stock in the uk, its limited stock so price is +20% of what we said the prices would be 2 weeks ago when we we naughty and broke the nda quietly by telling you the rrp". it happens for every single release. so many times their actual site will say something on the news page along the lines of "first stock in the uk" a specific incident i recall was the maxtor dm10+'s, i think dabs had them in for a week before OCUK got them in stock, claimed they were the first in the uk and charged £15 more than dabs. Said the same thing about x38 boards recently on their site, which seemed to change a few hours later when i mentioned in their annoucement thread that other places had the board £30 cheaper. They are currently charging £158 for the instock 3870, yoyo have it listed at £140, the rrp, and scan/tekheads and a bunch of other smaller companies all tend to now post up prices just after ocuk and within a couple pounds.
    Last edited by drunkenmaster; 15-11-2007 at 01:58 PM.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarinder View Post
    YorkieBen

    Take a look at the vast majority of games and you will see that NVIDIA's dev-rel team is practically omnipresent.

    We're adding more games to the testing suite. Rest assured that we're not favouring NVIDIA specifically.

    Half-Life 2's updates has caused previous results to become invalid. World In Conflict runs faster on NVIDIA hardware too.
    thats fair enough, I'd like to see a couple of more games added anyway, 4 games seems quite limited imo.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Drunkenmaster - a couple of observations on your antitrust arguement. Both Nvidia and Microsoft in your examples would argue that they are cooperating with the respective partners to ensure their technologies worked together in an optimal way. This is obviously is far less malevolent than bribing someone to ensure their competitor is hamstrung and this, rather than some instinctive Canadian fear of litigation (I believe AMD is happily sueing Intel whereever it can), is probably why anti-trust action has occurred.

    Regarding ocuk, you seem to be implying there is cartel activity going on, which explains why 'other stores' raise their prices as soon as ocuk does. Obviously, if there is a cartel that is very serious, but it would take the full complicity of all major sellers of graphics cards for it to work. Otherwise you and I would just buy our cards from those who hadn't inflated their prices and ocuk & co would be forced to drop their prices again. I just can't see how that could happen without the authorities catching on.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by Horrabin View Post
    Drunkenmaster - a couple of observations on your antitrust arguement. Both Nvidia and Microsoft in your examples would argue that they are cooperating with the respective partners to ensure their technologies worked together in an optimal way. This is obviously is far less malevolent than bribing someone to ensure their competitor is hamstrung and this, rather than some instinctive Canadian fear of litigation (I believe AMD is happily sueing Intel whereever it can), is probably why anti-trust action has occurred.

    Regarding ocuk, you seem to be implying there is cartel activity going on, which explains why 'other stores' raise their prices as soon as ocuk does. Obviously, if there is a cartel that is very serious, but it would take the full complicity of all major sellers of graphics cards for it to work. Otherwise you and I would just buy our cards from those who hadn't inflated their prices and ocuk & co would be forced to drop their prices again. I just can't see how that could happen without the authorities catching on.
    well , ocuk happen to have a very active forums, and tend to try to persaude them they will have the only stock.

    you'll see yoyotech(who honestly no one really knows about) and komplett have them on preorder at £140, while ocuk put theirs up at £158, shortly after ebuyer added them at £154, scan at £156. its not a lot, but a 10% bump is a 10% bump and its ALWAYS ocuk that do it first, and its on everything they sell. but you'll often see scan/tekheads put items up first for varying prices, and they all tend to raise them to whatever ocuk sets them at(or very close).

    as for the antitrust, thats why i said bordering on antitrust. but frankly, they are putting in sums in the millions into companies to help "optimise" games for them. theres a fine line between helping and pushing them to do things a certain way. the money is what makes it all a little too close to call for my liking and nvidia's clear lead in "their" games, and that lead dissappearing in many others.

    but like i said, i'd just like to see them not put money in at all. Why are nvidia paying companies, when its in nvidia's best interest to just offer them personel/info/help to optimise the game to run well, and to work with nvidia driver team to make the game run as well as possible. why wouldn't say the crysis team want to work with ati and nvidia driver teams to have their fantastic game run as well as possible on EVERY system. i just can't see why their needs to be money involved here. except that the money seems to stop the crysis team from helping ati. if there were no money, its in crysis teams best interest to help ati and nvidia just as much as each other, helping both companies helps their own game run better. so its something they would clearly want to do. money is given from nvidia, and ATi are suddenly getting no help. thats the issue here.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    That doesn't say anything other than OcUK inflate their prices though. Which has always been the case - they get stuff first, and you pay a little extra for the privaledge. We have the power to shop where we like so there's no problems as far as I can see.

    Regarding the TWIMTBP thing, I don't see that as that much of a problem. Primarily it acts as a free source of testing expertise and helps reduce bugs - not just on nVidia cards (though it's with these in mind obviously). The main cause of performance bias towards either nVidia or ATi is purely down to the load balance between texture manipulations and branching shader calculations. For the last couple of generations nVidia have been texture (and Z pass) kings and ATi are shader kings. Programmers prefer shaders for fancy effects while artists generally prefer textures to do their stuff.

    Ie, I don't mind about the TWIMTPB thing, as long as benchmarks have a wide selection of games that come from both the texture heavy and the branching shader heavy side of things.

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    Re: AMD Radeon HD 3870: the new midrange DX10 king?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    That doesn't say anything other than OcUK inflate their prices though. Which has always been the case - they get stuff first, and you pay a little extra for the privaledge. We have the power to shop where we like so there's no problems as far as I can see.
    except too few people execute there power to shop where they want. people buy them ocuk sell out and others put the price up as they will clearly sell. lack of will power is certainly to blame for part of the uk's ripoff price culture. but it doesn't help when ocuk flat out lie about being the only people to have stock, limited supply, better relationship so they will be the only ones to get stock for a couple weeks. it does make people panic buy thinking they are the only place that will have them. i know people can look around, but ocuk do smack pre-orders on sometimes while saying they will be the only place to have stock. its probably not illegal, its not very nice though, and only encourages other stores to do the same with prices.

    with places like ocuk though, they sell high volumes of mobos, cpu's and gpu's. its probably where they make most of their money. they aren't a dabs who sell lots of systems and have massive business clients. so increasing price by £10 on a fast selling card really effects their profits, where dabs do it and it doesn't even show up as a blip in the statistics. but enthusiasts like to buy from enthusiast shops, especially when they are told its the only place they'll get one on launch.

    i do object strongly to the definately not right false advertising. the "first stock in uk" crap they pull all the time on their actual shop

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