Friday, November 9, 2007

Radeon HD 3800 Series - Peace and Quiet

The new RV670 will be christened as Radeon HD 3800 series.



This is what will sell as Radeon HD 3850($149-$179):

* 55nm RV670PRO GPU at 668 MHz
* 256MB GDDR3 memory at 828 MHz DDR (1.66 GT(/s)
* 10.69 GPixel/s fillrate
* 52.99 GB/s memory bandwidth
* 320 Unified Stream Processors
* 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing support
* ATI Avivo HD
* ATI PowerPlay power saving technology
* Game Physics processing capability
* HDMI support

As far as higher performing part, the 3870($200-$230) is considered, specs are following:

* 55nm RV670XT GPU clocked to 775 MHz
* 512MB GDDR4 memory clocked at 1.2 GHz DDR (2.4 GT/s)
* 12.40 GPixel/s fill-rate
* 76.80 GB/s memory bandwidth
* 320 Unified Stream Processors
* 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing support
* 55nm process
* ATI Avivo HD
* ATI PowerPlay power saving technology
* Game Physics processing capability
* HDMI support

It seems that AMD may finally be catching on to the fact that most people do not want their computers to sound like leaf blowers. The new cooler on the Radeon HD 3850 is a single slot solution rated at a wonderfully low 31 db (at least compared to the jet engines on previous cards). The faster Radeon HD 3870 will sport a dual-slot cooler, but it is rated at a modest 34 db. These are not perfectly quiet, but compared to previous attempts and even to their direct competitors they are much more tolerable. NVIDIA's 8000 series, including the 8800GT, usually hum along at 40+ db.

AMD is telling its graphics card partners that they should focus on the GDDR3 part - the $150 HD3850 - while GDDR4 part - the dual-slot 3870 - should be used "to complete the offering". So it seems AMD is going to mostly focus on the 3850, the part that is going to succeed the 2600XT in that price bracket, and is set to absolutely dominate the Geforce 8600GTS and its own previous $150 part, the Radeon 2600XT.

The Radeon 2600XT and Pro will have their prices slashed, sending the boards in a lower price bracket, while the prices of 2400Pro and 2400XT will go into the range between the large packs of crisps and the family packs of detergents. For that, AMD will use more and more of those 55nm parts called RV615 and RV635.

Second wave of cards will include 3850 AGP with 256 and 512MB GDDR3 memory, 3870 with 512MB and 1GB of GDDR4 memory. Those boards are expected to hit the market just in time for Xmas.

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