It has been a long time since I used a Radeon card. Actually, the 6600GT replaced my last Radeon card, a 9600 Pro. It was a good mid-range card, and I had no complaints about it at all. Having used geForce cards exclusively for the past four years, and owning three Crossfire capable motherboards, I thought it was time that I go back and see what ATI has to offer.
Today I will be looking at the Apollo Aposonic Radeon HD 3850 512MB. It is a mid-range DX10 card, Crossfire ready, sitting in the notch between the geForce 8600GTS and the 8800GT. Will the HD 3850 make me turn my back on nVidia? Read on and see.
The Apollo HD 3850 (model number XHD3850PG3-E3R 512MB) comes in this nearly nondescript box. Actually, it could house either the 3850 or its big brother, the Radeon HD 3750, as the only thing showing which card is within is a small label on the side of the box. Inside, the card is protected by cardboard and a bubble wrap pouch. You can see that the packing actually is designed to hold multiple sized cards.
· Certified for Windows VISTA Premium.
· Design based on ATI Radeon HD3850 series. (RV670PRO)
· On-board with 512MB GDDR3 high speed memory.
· Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture built-in 320 stream processing units.
· Built-in HDMI support for HD video with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support, enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution.
· Hardware processing UVD (unviversal Video Decoder) delivers sharp images and vibrant color fidelity with 1080p playback of Blu-ray and HD DVDs.
· Dual DVI display port supports resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI, HDCP).
· ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology support (A complete ATI CrossFireX system includes ATI Radeon Graphics, an AMD 790FX or AMD 790X Chipset, ATI CrossFireX Certified memory and an ATI CrossFireX Certified power supply.)
· High-Speed 128 bit HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering
· ATI Avivo HD technology includes fully integrated HD audio capabilities and supports playback of multi-channel (5.1) audio streams.
· The best cooling system-X-Turbo III edition
· ATI PowerPlay™ Technology
· Windows Vista with comprehensive DirectX® 10.1 support.
· Shader Model 4.1