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Is HD3850 Right Choice? Will it bottleneck?

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#1
Hi,

I think I am going to buy the ATI Radeon HD3850 256MB Video Card. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.

Will it be bottlenecked by my AMD Athlon X2 3800+ Windsor Stock?

Will it definitely work with my ASUS M2NPV-VM AM2 PCI-E 1.0 motherboard?

HighTech is $10 more then Powercolor. They have the same core clocks and everything, which should I get? PowerColor for $245 or HighTech for $255

Is HighTech 100% EXACTLY the same as HIS? Because the shop I use has some cards listed as HIS and some as HighTech? Are they EXACTLY IDENTICAL?

Thanks, From Josh
 

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#2
Hi,

I think I am going to buy the ATI Radeon HD3850 256MB Video Card. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.

Will it be bottlenecked by my AMD Athlon X2 3800+ Windsor Stock?

Will it definitely work with my ASUS M2NPV-VM AM2 PCI-E 1.0 motherboard?

HighTech is $10 more then Powercolor. They have the same core clocks and everything, which should I get? PowerColor for $245 or HighTech for $255

Is HighTech 100% EXACTLY the same as HIS? Because the shop I use has some cards listed as HIS and some as HighTech? Are they EXACTLY IDENTICAL?

Thanks, From Josh
You'll be a bit bottlenecked, but not enough for it to matter in actual games, only benchmarks. It's worth getting the 3850.

HIS is HighTech.
 
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#3
In most situations, dont worry about the term "bottleneck". It really only refers to getting the MAX out of benchmarks.

No matter HOW POOR your CPU, a better GPU will always give you better FPS, or the ability to turn on or "up" GPU effects like higher resolution and FSAA etc. that are not "CPU" bound.

Of course, a faster CPU would give you even better FPS. But your X64 will show you BIG benefits using a X3850 over, for example a X1950, and certainly will be a lot better over your onboard graphics.

Yes, the GPU is compatible with PCIe 1.0 mainboard.

You can also upgrade the CPU at some point... perhaps get a higher clocked CPU off ebay.
 
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#4
A review of the HIS Radeon HD3850 said that when it goes under a large load, the fan never speeds up. So they had to manually put it on 60%. They weren't sure if it was just the pre release one that reviewed or if HIS done it to keep it quite. Is there a way for me to know? Does anyone on these forums have a HIS Radeon HD3850?
 
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#6
A few reviews state the same thing, ATi is going for noise levels, rather than cooling. I think this card is a bit like the 8800GT, it can handle high temperatures, and maybe still OC a bit, but the graphcis cards, even the full release ones only run the fan at 40%. Just use ATiTool, or ATi Tray Tools, or something similar, to get it to move faster.
Another reason is they could wantto give gamers more of a choice. Home users will use stock settings nealy all the time, while more advanced users without the money to buy a new cooler right away, can OC a little, and if they don't mind the fan noise, increase fan speed manually. Gives more control.

Definately get the card, I'm waiting for christmas to come and go, hopefully Santa will bring me one :D
 
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#7
have you thought about paying the extra $30 for the 512mb version josh??

http://pcmaniacs.com.au/powercolor-hd3850-512mb-720mhz-version-p-4019.html

I just noticed in the reviews on here that the 512mb version has quite a bit better frame rates than the 256mb version. Even more so at the higher res'. I suppose that is because of the newer games having quite large textures. IMO 256mb isn't enough if you are gaming higher than 1024..

Also I gather you are thinking of getting one from umart, but stonebridge have the his version for around $15 cheaper.?? just a FYI
 
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#8
He's gaming on a 19" CRT, so, maybe 1600x1200 max? Maybe a little higher at 1920x1200 is possible, but that's a horrible res for a 19"er, too small most of the time.
The 256MB should be fine, but $30 isn't much more expensive, so actually, I agree with DrunkenMafia, and if you can afford the jump to the 3870, the higher stock speeds, and the dual-slot cooler, may be nice.
 
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#9
the ati 3xxx cards are designed to be the way they are.. the 8800gt however is a different kettle of fish.. a small batch was commissioned and rushed onto the market to knock the 3xxx launch..

in essence they are inadequately cooled.. overclocked.. noisy.. but they did a grand job of making the 3xxx into an also ran.. he he..

if the 8800gt comes onto the market in numbers they will all probably have 256 of memory and sit alongside the 8800gts as a lesser cheaper card..

imagine how much glory ati would be getting if the 8800gt hadnt have popped up when it did.. ????

10 out of 10 for nvidia in the dirty tricks department.. but we have ati to thank for the new cheapo high performing cards.. no one else..

trog
 

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#10
Im pretty sure Josh is getting a 22" LCD with the new card ;).
 
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#11
i dont think the 3850 will be a bottleneck, a friend of me (victorcs) got a 3870 with a X2 3800 @ 2.6ghz and it nearly as fast as my X2 5000+ and 3870
so 3850 will do just fine, the cpu will be the bottleneck for 38x0 cards anyway

if you find sapphire 3870 in stock you might want to get it as it includes the black box from valve and 3dmark06 from futuremark as a bonus
 
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#12
games aint changed that much from the days when an amd cpu was considered the "gaming" cpu.. crysis is just a prettied up farcry and oblivion still makes a modern grafix card sqeak a bit when its fully maxed out at a high resolution..

the cpu in question will play games okay but if u want a high score in a 3Dmark u need an overclocked intel system..

for games its still the grafix card that matters..

trog
 

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#13
CPU is the bottleneck, but not to much, remember, you'll be able to play most games at max settings at a framerate above 60fps.... ( Crysis average is 20fps at high, 1440x900 )
But the CPU doesnt care about AA / AF or high res, it cares about the load it gets from psychics, AI and stuff, mostly... So if it's gonna be a bottleneck depends on what games you play.

What I noticed was that my 1.25GB ram struggles, because the low amount, my games usually stay at 60+, but when it suddenly load from hdd, it drops, in Oblivion that's annoying ^^

If Josh games at high res, I would suggest that he grabs 3870 512ram, but if he stays at 1280x1024 or less, 256ram should be enough ( but he wont regret a 3870, it'll still be better than a 3850).
 
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#14
When I get the 3850, 2 other specs in my computer will change as well. I'm getting BenQ 22" and 2gb more ram to make a total of 3gb.

Are you saying that the 3850 256mb won't run games very well in 1680x1050 (my new monitors native resolution)??
 
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#15
I have a Powercolor Radeon 3850 and the fan speeds will turn on at like 70C so I had to set it to 60% as well manually, i think all of the 3850's are like this:confused:
 
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#16
why dont we all trust the manufacturer on this heat thing.. why do we think 90 C is too hot when the manufacturer thinks its perfectly okay..

is it simply because we think 20 C cooler will give us a slightly higher overclock..??

there is no evidence of these things dying cos of running too hot.. so why are we worrying.. and yep the memory on my 3870 card is too hot to keep your finger on.. but who says that this isnt perfectly okay.. ???

trog
 
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#17
When I get the 3850, 2 other specs in my computer will change as well. I'm getting BenQ 22" and 2gb more ram to make a total of 3gb.

Are you saying that the 3850 256mb won't run games very well in 1680x1050 (my new monitors native resolution)??
now with 1680x1050 get the 3870 you will need the extra speed and memory
 
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#18
I think it's too late. My brother already ordered the HIS ATI Radeon 3850, he could probably cancel but I don't mind.

If I put a game like Bioshock on 1680x1050, and turn some of the settings to medium, some to high, what sorts of FPS will I get as an estimate?
 
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#19
around 20% slower than 3870 in bioshock i think but it still a lot faster than 2600 etc
 
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#21
i want 3850 too, but drivers worry me
other than drivers, this card is a huge perf./$$$
 
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#22
What is bad about there drivers?
 

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#23
That's also the only thing straying me away for now as well Josh. Drivers. I would really like to get one of these too. It's either the card or a proc & mobo (e8x00 ready -Asus P5K-V).
 
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#24
What is bad about there drivers?
Right now, latest driver creates more problems than solves.
Go to their forum, people are complaining about drivers non-stop, unfortunately.
Of course, I do not think it will be for a while, just need some time till they will develop new drivers and fix all the problems. I hope so. :D
 
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#25
i also have an athlon64 X2 3800+, and i just bought the 3850 256mb and i love it...it was cheap, and performs great...the only issue i have is in Crysis, i only have 1024mb of RAM, and i get about 3-5 mins of lag, and then it's flawless after that, but when i quit the game windows gives me a low virtual memory warning, so i think Crysis uses all my RAM and then tries to snag some memory from the page file :( but i'm buying 2gb on friday, so it should be all good...at 770mhz/1044mhz i can run crysis at 1280x1024 mostly high, but some medium settings, but no AA...but it looks way better than 1024x768 with AA enabled...i strongly suggest overclocking your CPU, mine's at 2.6ghz and there's no bottlenecking, i get 9,298 in 3Dmark06..but as mentioned above 22" monitor may be just a touch too big for the 3850 to handle its native res...the 3850 512 might do it, but to be safe get the 3870...or 8800gt for a little extra $$ :)