Sapphire Atomic HD3870 ReviewFormer staff writer -
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So what does atomic really stand for? I’ll let you decide on that but here are my thoughts. The extra clock speeds do make a difference in most of our benchmarks, there was a solid four to five frame difference, while in 3DMark06 - at the default resolution - there was roughly a difference of 700 points. As per the cooler, it takes up less space than the normal two slot cooling solutions that come with most manufacturer's 3870s, but what most impressed me was that where we might think bigger is better, in this case smaller was better by a decent amount.
Sapphire has relayed that the price of the card will only be ten to fifteen dollars above what you can buy a standard HD3870 for, this I consider a deal. Why? Even though there is not much of a performance increase, the bundle itself is probably worth twice as much, which makes for a pretty nifty price point. I was at Best Buy yesterday and looked at some HDMI Cables and an eight foot cable was ninety dollars U.S.
So what would I consider Atomic about the Sapphire HD 3870 Atomic Edition? Well, as for it packing an Atomic punch in performance, no. With the heatsink being a single slot cooling solution, it does it have the efficiency to cool better than the larger two slot solution? Yes. What would I consider the best value out of the whole package would have to be the bundle of software, HDMI cable and Cold Cathodes.
Many may be wondering why this card was tested on an AMD system rather than an Intel. Well, there are still many loyal AMD users out there and many would like to see how a card performs on the new Spider platform. If you would like to see how an HD 3870 and 3850 perform on an Intel system, please check these two reviews: Sapphire 3870 and Sapphire 3850.
- Single Slot Cooling Solution
- Nine Foot HDMI Cable
- Cold Cathodes
- Cool Looking Carrying Case
- Only a Four to Five Frame Difference in Most Benchmarks