Powercolor HD 3850 Xtreme 512 MB Review 15

Powercolor HD 3850 Xtreme 512 MB Review

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Recently AMD has released their new RV670 GPU which is used on their HD3850 and HD3870 cards. We recently reviewed an overclocked card from GeCube, today we have PowerColor's go at making a card that outperforms the reference design.

The RV670 GPU is based on the RV610 and RV630 architecture, but features much better performance. It is built on a 55nm process with 666 million transistors with a 256 bit memory interface. All features like UVD and HDMI+Audio are included as well. As a novelty this chip brings DirectX 10.1 support and can benefit from the improved features of PCI-Express 2.0. While both features are not important today they are a clear commitment from AMD that they are looking at future technologies and will make use of them as soon as possible.

The engineers at Powercolor have redesigned parts of the PCB to fit their requirements, but the basic design circuit design remained the same. What is more important is that the memory size has been doubled to 512 MB instead of 256 MB on the reference design. Also the clock speeds have received a nice upgrade, they are at 720 MHz core and 900 MHz memory now. Instead of the one slot reference cooler a two slot design by Zerotherm has been chosen as well. Another special feature is that the second DVI port as been replaced by a HDMI port making this card an excellent choice for media PC systems.

HD 2600 XT
8600 GTS
HD 3850
HD 3850 X
8800 GTS
8800 GT
HD 2900 XT
8800 GTX
8800 Ultra
Shader units 1203232032096112320128128
ROPs4 x2 81616201616 x2 2424
Transistors390M 289M666M 666M681M 754M700M 681M 681M
Memory Size256 MB256 MB 256 MB 512 MB 320 MB
640 MB
512 MB 512 MB768 MB768 MB
Memory Bus Width 128 bit 128 bit 256 bit 256 bit 320 bit 256 bit 512 bit 384 bit 384 bit
Core Clock800 MHz 675 MHz 670 MHz 720 MHz 500 MHz 600 MHz 742 MHz 575 MHz 612 MHz
Memory Clock1100 MHz 1000 MHz 828 MHz 900 MHz 800 MHz 900 MHz 825 MHz 900 MHz 1080 MHz

Complete Specifications

  • 666 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
Ring Bus Memory Controller
  • Fully distributed design with 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads and writes
Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1
  • 32-bit floating point texture filtering
  • Indexed cube map arrays
  • Independent blend modes per render target
  • Pixel coverage sample masking
  • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders
  • Gather4 texture fetching
Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
  • 320 stream processing units
  • Dynamic load balancing and resource allocation for vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
  • Common instruction set and texture unit access supported for all types of shaders
  • Dedicated branch execution units and texture address processors
  • 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
  • Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
  • Shader instruction and constant caches
  • Up to 80 texture fetches per clock cycle
  • Up to 128 textures per pixel
  • Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
  • DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
  • High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
  • Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
  • Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
  • Early Z test, Re-Z, Z Range optimization, and Fast Z Clear
  • Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
  • Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
  • 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing support
  • Physics processing support
Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
  • High performance vertex cache
  • Programmable tessellation unit
  • Accelerated geometry shader path for geometry amplification
  • Memory read/write cache for improved stream output performance
Anti-aliasing features
  • Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
  • Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for improved quality
  • Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
  • Temporal anti-aliasing
  • Gamma correct
  • Super AA (ATI CrossFire™ configurations only)
  • All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering
Texture filtering features
  • 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
  • 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
  • Bicubic filtering
  • sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
  • Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
  • Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
  • Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support
OpenGL 2.0 support
ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform
  • Dedicated unified video decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC and VC-1 video formats
  • High definition (HD) playback of both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats
  • Hardware MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and DivX video decode acceleration
  • Motion compensation and IDCT
  • ATI Avivo Video Post Processor
  • Color space conversion
  • Chroma subsampling format conversion
  • Horizontal and vertical scaling
  • Gamma correction
  • Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
  • De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
  • Detail enhancement
  • Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
  • Bad edit correction
  • Two independent display controllers
  • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display
  • Full 30-bit display processing
  • Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
  • Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays
  • High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all display outputs
  • Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
  • Fast, glitch-free mode switching
  • Hardware cursor
  • Two integrated dual-link DVI display outputs
  • Each supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)2
  • Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content
  • Two integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
  • Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x15362
  • DisplayPort output support
  • Supports 24- and 30-bit displays at all resolutions up to 2560x16002
  • HDMI output support
  • Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x1080
  • Integrated HD audio controller with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support, enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
  • Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder
  • Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite)
  • Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions
  • Underscan and overscan compensation
  • MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding
  • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
  • VGA mode support on all display outputs
ATI PowerPlay™
  • Advanced power management technology for optimal performance and power savings
  • Performance-on-Demand
  • Constantly monitors GPU activity, dynamically adjusting clocks and voltage based on user scenario
  • Clock and memory speed throttling
  • Voltage switching
  • Dynamic clock gating
  • Central thermal management – on-chip sensor monitors GPU temperature and triggers thermal actions as required
ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology
  • Scale up rendering performance and image quality with two, three, or four GPUs
  • Integrated compositing engine
  • High performance dual channel bridge interconnect
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May 17th, 2022 01:44 EDT change timezone

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