AMD today announced the introduction and immediate availability of the ATI Radeon HD 3800 Series of graphics processing units (GPU). As the world's first series of graphics processors to deliver Microsoft's DirectX 10.1 support, 55nm process technology and tri and quad multi-GPU support with ATI CrossFireX, the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series ushers in a new era of enthusiast gaming performance at mainstream price points. The ATI Radeon HD 3800 series will be introduced in two variants at launch, from US $179 MSRP, the ATI Radeon HD 3850 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory and from US $219 MSRP, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 with 512MB GDDR4 memory. The launch of the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series redefines the enthusiast segment and puts high performance gaming in reach of more users than ever before. This innovative new series of graphics products also represent the first step in the launch of AMD's upcoming enthusiast platform codenamed "Spider".
From the reviews we have seen so far, it looks like the 3870 gives NVIDIA some competition in DirectX 10 games, while the DX9 performance is not as stellar. But then again, even with DX9 performance lower than NVIDIA's 8800GT, at 100+ fps average, the difference is not noticeable anyway. Let's just hope the 3870 X2 (R680) can compete in the enthusiast market or AMD's next generation GPUs are right around the corner. Actually, both would be nice. If AMD can keep the price low and have good driver support for the cards, they may be able to gain back some lost ground in the graphics market.