Got a new Sapphire HD 3850 (ATI Video Card)

Yes, this is another one of those, "I’m going to show pictures of my computer" posts.

I got a new graphics card in the mail today.  It’s a Sapphire HD 3850, which is a (you guessed it) ATI Radeon HD 3850 manufactured by Sapphire.  The cool thing about this card, other than it uses PCI-express 2.0, is that the thing is fanless.  Yesterday I had a fanless MSI card with an ATI Redeon HD 2600XT chip in it, so I was ready for an upgrade.

Here’s what came in the box.  The card (which looks kick-ass) and an S-video to component, S-video to composite, and DVI to HDMI adapters.

Since the 3850 takes an extra power source, there is also an included adapter to draw that power from an ubiquitous power connector type.

Here is a size comparison between the 2600 (bottom) and the 3850:


And here’s the card from the end.  Notice that the top of the picture is actually the top of the card, even though the GPU is on the bottom.  Heat pipes bring the heat to the top.

Finally, here it is in my system, a Core 2 Quad q6600 (2.4GHz) rig with a 300GB raptor system drive, and 6GB RAM that runs Windows Vista Ultimate x64. :-)

Now for the performance…

Here is the Windows Experiance Index of my computer with the HD 2600XT:
score before new graphics card

And here it is after:
|score after new graphics card

It appears now that the new bottleneck in my system is the speed of the RAM.  I can’t do anything about that without upgrading the motherboard, but that is for another day.

About upgrading the motherboard.  This card supports PCI-e 2.0, but my motherboard only supports 1.0.  Luckily PCI-2 2.0 is both backwards and forwards compatible, but even so, I won’t get the double bandwidth that 2.0 enables, even if I have a 2.0 card.  So when that motherboard upgrade happens, I’m curious to see how much better the graphics card performs.

As for practical gaming, I found that I could increase the settings on Unreal Tournament 3 to 1920×1200 resolution (the native resolution of my 24" monitor), with the screen percentage up to 90, the texture detail in the middle with 2, and the world detail a little higher at 4.  All the while the game runs smooth.  It is a bit disappointing that I can’t turn the settings up all the way without affecting the frame rate, but with such a big monitor I can’t complain.

The card runs in the upper 40 degrees Celsius at idle, mid 50’s with regular windowing in Vista, and intermittently breaks 70 with intense gaming.

One thought on “Got a new Sapphire HD 3850 (ATI Video Card)

  1. With any luck, hopefully that would actually get looking at any and all corporations entrusted with another companies financial life when you are conducting replication work for the items. Maybe they will take full notice and actually install strong security procedures that will prevent this kind of inexcusable action. OEM should be fully investigated for anyone work it has done for almost any companies and be financially accountable for every penny lost. How they come along with the true financial loss that you can paid to the damaged companies are often difficult, but the company that is damaged by this transgression of inexcusable and Ignorant behavior will probably be heavily favored on the particular ruling. Any dumb ass that will thinks its funny or maybe ok or cool develop steel on this level under these circumstances causing financial damage and hurting a complete company of people ought to do everything he owns stolen every so often and then see should they would just accept that there is nothing they can do concerning this, so might as well just figure it into your budget because a circumstance of life. Children steeling a model of a game is something, I don’t like this specific, but it will probably to be able to happen, but an adult participating in this behavior has probably had poor moral guidance and no need to grow up, get a decent job and include his toys, all of them. A thief is a thief and generally a liar as better. What company do near you? How would you really feel, if you worked somewhere that could keep you employed, give you a improve, offer you decent and not because some mental midget the very stupid excuse precisely why it was ok entirely on him to steel your company product. Of course, OEM is innocent untill proven guilty… -p

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