Wednesday, January 2nd 2008

Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 Reviewed

Although Sapphire's new Atomic HD 3870 series was mentioned only twice on our front page and never announced officially, the guys over at Overclockers Club have already published their full review of the card. The HD 3870 Atomic Edition is an overclocked version of the ATI RV670 chipset, which is the basis of the 3800 series of graphics solutions. The Sapphire HD 3870 Atomic Edition is also remarkable for its single slot cooling solution which utilizes a vapor-x chamber. Those of you who are interested to know more can read the full review here.

Source: Overclockers Club
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29 Comments on Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 Reviewed

#1
Weer
What's so special about an overclocked 3870? The only thing worth noting is the case it comes in.
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#2
Mad-Matt
The single slot cooler makes it special. As long as its not a huge premium over standard 3870, then its quite a good package.
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#3
das müffin mann
i agree this is a pretty good package for i think it said like $10 over the standard it is a pretty good buy
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#4
tigger
I'm the only one
Its a waste of time using a box like that for it tho'.you get it,and shove it in your machne.Unless you wanna keep looking at the pwetty box aaah.I bet its more than $10 over the normal one tho'

It does come with this lot tho'-a nine foot HDMI cable, cold cathodes, the Half Life Black Box Edition game, a full version of 3DMark and two Cyberlink programs.
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#5
woozers
I wonder if they are going to supply the vapor-x cooling solution with lower-end cards.
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#6
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
Hmmm... I can't help but think you'll be paying for the 'flashy box' that the card comes in. Rather pointless really. Hopefully the cooler will be worth it.
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#7
das müffin mann
tigger69 said:
Its a waste of time using a box like that for it tho'.you get it,and shove it in your machne.Unless you wanna keep looking at the pwetty box aaah.I bet its more than $10 over the normal one tho'

It does come with this lot tho'-a nine foot HDMI cable, cold cathodes, the Half Life Black Box Edition game, a full version of 3DMark and two Cyberlink programs.
"Sapphire has relayed that the price of the card will only be ten to fifteen dollars above what you can buy a standard HD3870 for"
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#8
zOaib
where can i get one ?
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#9
HousERaT
If they can keep the price low then this will be a good deal. All that extra stuff is of no concern to me but the cooler and default clocks are nice. I'd like to see more testing with the cooler. I notice they didn't overclock the card any more so my guess is the new cooler makes no difference.
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#10
mdm-adph
You know, there was something about that particular review I really liked -- it was short, only about a dozen pages or so, and it didn't have the requisite 7 or 8 pages that most reviews have that just tell you about the technical aspects of the card (which you probably already know).

That being said, I'm amazed at how much Call of Juarez kills even the fastest cards today at the 1680 resolution, Jeebus.
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#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
So sapphire just used a modified heatpipe design? Pretty smart, and effective it seems.

If they keep the price right, this could really be a good deal.
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#12
jydie
Okay... I am going to have to ask a question after reading the review. Actually, it is one that I have always been curious to know more about.

They could only overclock 8MHz from the already overclocked value set by Sapphire. Is it "safe" to constantly run a card that close to it's limit? I know that a lot of people overclock until they see artifacts and then back down a bit and run their card at those settings. As long as you keep the GPU cool, will an overclocked card last just as long as a card with factory settings?
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#13
zOaib
jydie said:
Okay... I am going to have to ask a question after reading the review. Actually, it is one that I have always been curious to know more about.

They could only overclock 8MHz from the already overclocked value set by Sapphire. Is it "safe" to constantly run a card that close to it's limit? I know that a lot of people overclock until they see artifacts and then back down a bit and run their card at those settings. As long as you keep the GPU cool, will an overclocked card last just as long as a card with factory settings?
i hardly keep a card more than 3-4 months in my system ( a problem i have ) but they last me atleast that long good , OCed ................ and avg mainstream person will most likely keep a card for atleast 12-24 months and mostly ppl use OC to squeeze the last bit out of the card in its close to obsolete period ..................... but if one keeps their card cooled right shud not be a problem for a good while =)

but this is my pure opinion not a fact !
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Yes, it is safe to constantly run a card close to its limit.
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#15
erocker
Senior Moderator
newtekie1 said:
Yes, it is safe to constantly run a card close to its limit.
To expand on that, most cards now-days are limited by voltage by the bios or the hardware itself.
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#16
Basard
They should have kept it double-slot... Keep the vapor-x, with double-slot cooling, why not? I guess it's good if you want 4 cards in your system. But, meh.... The box looks like a "mysterious package" somebody would leave in a public place and run off to detonate.
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#17
Dr. Spankenstein
The single-slot cooling solution is most important when it comes to quad-crossfire, which is exactly where AMD is trying to go with their 790 chipset.
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#18
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
i read the review guess what they used as a test rig ;)

Testing Setup:

* Processor: AMD Phenom 9600 200 x 11.5
* Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum (Bios V1.21)
* Memory: 4 x 1GB Mushkin DDR2 XP2 8500 at 800 5-5-5-15 2t
* Video Card(s): ATI HD 3870 512MB
* Power Supply: Mushkin 650watt Modular Power Supply
* Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB SATA
* Opticals: NEC DV5700
* O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

would you look at that its a phenom chip


and i have to admit in a tri/quad xfire setup the tiny cooler will do a lot better than a huge dual slot one ;)
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#19
unsmart
Open the cool box and PINK:wtf: I'm almost positive that styrofoam comes in less princess like colors:laugh:
As for the 8mhz OC there is a Bios lock on the 3870 cards which is probably the issue. With the mod bios this thing should go higher.
I for one like the box,looks like a ITX board might fit in there:rockout:
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#20
Basard
I know they are trying to make it quad crossfire compatible, but who really wants to buy FOUR video cards, then replace them ALL two years later with a single, faster, card. I guess if I was a millionaire, I'd have a few Quad Crossfire systems, but whatever floats your boat, I guess...

I guess, with AMD's new hybrid crossfire they are talking about, you can mix your video cards up and still have crossfire, but still, 4 video cards?

I guess I'm just a single card kinda guy... The only version of SLI that I liked was the dual voodoo 2 setup, and they didn't even need heatsinks, each voodoo2 could be found for just over 100 bucks, as well--not just over 200.
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#21
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
occ
The Vapor-X is much quieter in my opinion but without a decimeter I cannot show the difference between the regular heatsink and the Vapor-X. So please take my word on this one. As per temperatures, Idle for the Vapor-X is 41 C opposed to 46 C with the standard Sapphire heatsink that comes on the 3870. For load, the temperatures were 77 C (Atomic) and 86 C (standard). Room temperature was 23 C during testing.
well an oc and a smaller cooler that gives better temps and makes less noise than the big dual slot cooler?
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#22
phanbuey
very very nice package... i would totally get this for all the goodies and the quiet cooler..
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#23
Ati Addictive
High End ATI Card

Guys guys guys, listen ATI is going to pull the same trick as Nvida in the beginning of this new year. Everybody still can remember the single card with SLI on it ?? The Nvidia 7950 GX2.
So ATI will launch the HD 3870 X2 ATI will call it or something in that direction. The card wil have 1 GB of GDDR 4 memery and it will be clocked on 750 MHZ this card will held 2 graphic processors and think about a Quad 3870 oee laaa laaa.

One world of advise wait for this card and don t buy OCing crap of the HD 3870.
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#24
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
Ati Addictive said:
One world of advise wait for this card and don t buy OCing crap of the HD 3870.
What if you only have room for a single slot card? Kinda boned if you want the X2 aren't you? Not that good of advice unless you can tell someone how to get that sort of card into a SFF.

;)
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#25
Ati Addictive
The one that you saw on the foto aint the card ofcourse!:laugh: it s just an inpression of 1 card with the power of 2:rockout: and if you want to do it in a SFF lol nope this card is only for high tower i think and people who want a real computer don t buy a SFF but get a Stacker 830 or some kind of high tower
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