Asus EAH3870X2 1GB Top Reviewccokeman - February 7, 2008
The Asus EAH3870 X2 is a full size video card. By video card standards it is huge. At just over 11 inches in length you will need a full tower to take advantage of the benefits of the 3870 X2 video card. The 3870 X2 series, as the name suggests, uses two HD3870 R670 cores. It uses a unique dual slot cooling solution to dissipate the heat generated by two of ATI's latest chip. The fan shroud is made of anodized aluminum which helps to support the EAH3870 X2 and keep it from flexing the 12 layer PCB. The Asus EAH3870X2 has each core clocked at 825MHz with the 1 GB of GDDR3 memory clocked to 1.8GHz (900MHz). Asus has chosen to use .8ns GDDR3 instead of the standard fare 1ns memory found on the ATI design. This should give a fair amount of overclocking headroom for the enthusiast in us.
The view from the top side shows the two main power connections. One 8-pin and one 6-pin. The 3870 X2 will still run if you only have two 6-pin PCI-E connections available on your power supply. Overdrive will not work unless an eight and 6-pin power connection are used. There is only one Crossfire bridge connection on the EAH3870 X2. The reason for this is that there should only be a need for one since Crossfire X can be accomplished with only two cards instead of four.
The Asus EAH3870X2 differs from the standard ATI partner cards in a few different ways. First and formost is the cooling solution used by Asus. This is a far cry from the hair dryer models of the recent past (think 2900XT and 1900XTX). The cooling solution chosen by Asus uses the same style heatsink on each card instead of the separate copper and aluminum sinks used on the reference ATI design cards. Each heatsink on the Asus EAH3870X2 has a copper base and dual heatpipes leading to the fin assembly to cool down the GPUs. Each heatsink has its own individual fan so that each processor gets it own fresh air. This is in stark contrast to the blow through design used by ATI.
The fans used to cool the heatsinks are manufactured by Y.S.Tech. They are 70mm x 10mm and move 27.5 CFM at 4300 RPM with a noise level of 35dBA.
The second big thing is that this card has not two, but four DVI ports to send a signal to the display device of your choosing. The yellow port matches up with the DVI to HDMI adapter included with the bundle. From the assembly line, the ports are covered with protective caps assuring the end user that none of the ports sustain damage in transport.
After removing the heatsinks, the GPU cores were visible as well as the PLX technologies PCI-E bridging chip that helps make the whole dual GPU video card a reality and not just a dream. It is basically a 48 lane PCI-E switch that allows 16 lanes to each core as well as 16 lanes down to the motherboard interface.