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Sapphire HD 3870 Atomic Edition

W1zzard

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#1
Sapphire's new HD 3870 Atomic Edition is a special version of the Radeon HD 3870 with a single slot cooler. This is only possible because Sapphire uses a new cooling technology called Vapor-X cooling that improves cooling performance considerably while keeping noise down. Another plus of this card is that it comes overclocked out of the box with full warranty.

Show full review
 
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Hawk1

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#2
Very nice, thorough review W1zz (as usual). Just one question. When you show the GPU idle/load temps, is that after the card was OC by you to 864/1251, or the stock Saphire OC?
 

W1zzard

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#3
idle + load are at the clocks out of the box (sapphire clocks), Load+OC is with the maximum OC i reached
 

Hawk1

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#4
idle + load are at the clocks out of the box (sapphire clocks), Load+OC is with the maximum OC i reached
Thanks, very nice looking card. Now get going on the 3870x2 review for Monday (and how come I cant add smileys since this morning :( - this is manually typed in )
 

btarunr

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#7
wow, just <24 hrs ago we were talking about the cards reaching your place. Nice review, W1z.

The packaging reminds me of the Radeon X1950 XTX Uber edition set from ATI. There should be a mention that while the card is slightly overpriced and that its performance per dollar takes a hit, at $299.99, it we must realise that the bundled accessories, the packaging, the cold-cathode tube, the cooling mechanism's ingenuity more than makes up for the price. I love this card, so far it's the fastest card using an ATI GPU.
 

W1zzard

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#8
That kinda makes me sad, hopefully youll review it again with the correct drivers that are suppose to be released on the 28th.
amd told me "use that driver for your review".. so what am i supposed to do. i doubt there are any miracle drivers
 
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#9
spitze:rockout::rockout:
 
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#10
Hey W1zzard, just something that I noticed and thought I'd point out

On page 4-A Closer Look, you state that:

"The GDDR3 memory chips are made by Samsung and carry the model number K4U52324QE-BC08. With 0.8ns they are the fastest GDDR3 memory chips available on the market today and should be able to handle at least 1250 MHz (if the memory controller in the GPU can handle that speed)."

If I'm not mistaken, these are GDDR4 :toast:
 
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#11
I am not sure about these particular memory modules, but from my knowledge, all 3870 come with GDDR4 memory.

the 3850's come with GDDR3 memory modules (I think I saw one model with GDDR4m wich cost more than 3870..... pointless)

Para_Franck
 

0V3CHKiN

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#12
I'm curious to see how this card handles CSS/HL2 @ 1920x1200. I would like to return to single slot cooling.
 

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#13
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#14
Great review Wizz:toast:
Do you have any idea what the Vcore is on the card? 864 is a good OC on stock Vcore for a 3870,I'm thinking these cards may have "cherry" cores to keep the heat down.
The pink foam reminds me of when I first opened my 1975 Gibson SG case and seen pink lining,It's like G.I Joe living in a Barbie dream castle:laugh:
 
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#16
I'm guessing Sapphire wouldn't like it if you flashed with the unlocked bios and did a Vmod.
 

roadie

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#17

W1zzard

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#18
Awesome. I assume that this will work perfectly with a vanilla Sapphire 3870?
i don't have the slightest idea. if you try this let us know your results
 

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#19
i don't have the slightest idea. if you try this let us know your results
Yeah, I will flash it this evening to see what happens. The Atomic card looks like it is based on the reference design so I guess the only thing to take into account would be the fan speed. Did the Atomic card ramp fan speed or was it at one setting all through testing?
 

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#20
Just set both cards to 100% fan speed. Make sure both clocks are identical. It should very well work.
 

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#21
Flashed the card with Winflash and all went well. I was using a BIOS that gave clocks of 830/1200Mhz and opened up a wider range of clock speeds. However, I will keep this one whilst on stock cooling, even though it restricts max clocks to 885/1387Mhz.

I played Armed Assault for a couple of hours tonight with no hitches and can recommend this BIOS to other Sapphire 3870 users. As I have had to do with all previous BIOS, I set fan speed to 70% in Rivatuner whilst gaming to keep temps down.
 

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#22
Sapphire HD 3870 to Sapphire Atomic 3870?

Did you flash the HD3870 with no Volt Mods? Did it work well?

I have too cards I wonder If I have to flash one at a time (with the other one out of the case) and then Crossfire again?
 

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#23
Did you flash the HD3870 with no Volt Mods? Did it work well?

I have too cards I wonder If I have to flash one at a time (with the other one out of the case) and then Crossfire again?
Yeah, my card has no volt mods applied. The flash did seem to work well but I have discovered that my card doesn't like the memory at 1200Mhz. I have since re-flashed my card with a stock Sapphire BIOS and have set clocks to 825/1175Mhz. Of course, your card might be different...

No idea about flashing Crossfire cards, I am afraid.
 

Jor3llBR

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#24
Yeah, my card has no volt mods applied. The flash did seem to work well but I have discovered that my card doesn't like the memory at 1200Mhz. I have since re-flashed my card with a stock Sapphire BIOS and have set clocks to 825/1175Mhz. Of course, your card might be different...

No idea about flashing Crossfire cards, I am afraid.
Tx for the swift reply.

I see, but how do you set those clocks, I'm using Catalyst to try and set the clocks but always when I access Atitool the clocks are lower...