ASUS Radeon HD 3850 & 3870
Last month AMD introduced the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series as "enthusiast gaming performance for the masses" through the Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870, which are both sub-$250 graphics cards. While rudimentary, the Catalyst 7.11 Linux driver (also released last month), supports these two RV670 GPUs with better support coming through the Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver this month. To see how well these two PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards are able to perform under Linux, ASUS had sent out their EAH3850 TOP and EAH3870 TOP. We have tested both of these graphics cards using Ubuntu 7.10 and have compared the results to other products using the fglrx driver, including the ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB. These are the world's first Linux benchmarks of these new mainstream ATI graphics processors.
The ATI Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 are designed to be affordable GPUs and direct competition for NVIDIA's recently released GeForce 8800GT, which we should be showcasing here under Linux shortly. These two ATI graphics cards use the RV670 core and are built using a 55nm TSMC process, which results in a smaller die size and a more energy efficient graphics processor. However, as this is an "RV" GPU, it does have a reduction in memory bandwidth and the internal ring bus compared to the flagship Radeon HD 2900XT.
EAH3850 TOP Specifications:
· 730MHz Core Clock (RV670 reference: 668MHz)
EAH3870 TOP Specifications:
· 851MHz Core Clock (RV670 reference: 775MHz)
The part numbers for the two ASUS graphics cards we are testing in this article are the EAH3850 TOP/G/HTDI/256M and EAH3870 TOP/G/HTDI/512M. The accessories with the ASUS Radeon HD 3850 and HD 3870 each include one CrossFire bridge, ASUS CD/DVD wallet, SpeedSetup Guide, VGA driver disk, ASUS driver disk, two 4-pin molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapter, one VGA to DVI adapter, S-Video to composite adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter, and a video out adapter cable. Also included with both graphics cards is a complementary copy of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Unfortunately, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts isn't yet a game well supported by WINE for any alternative OS gamers nor is there a native Linux client.
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