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Sapphire Atomic HD3870 Review

Former staff writer    -   January 1, 2008
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Specifications:

Interface

PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0 Support)

Memory

512MB GDDR4

Memory Bus

256-bit

Engine Clock

825MHz

Memory Clock

2400MHz

Stream Processing Units

320

Output

Dual-DVI
TVO
HDTV
HDMI

DirectX

10.1

Features

UVD at full 1080p with Low CPU Utilization
UVD provides full HD decoding for h.264 and VC1
Integrated  HDMI and HD Audio with no cable necessary
First 55nm GPU
Crossfire X Support
PCI-e 2.0 Support
Best Performance Per Dollar

 

Features:

 

  • 666 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR4 memory interface
  • Ring Bus Memory Controller
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1
  • Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
  • 320 stream processing units
  • 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
  • Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
  • Shader instruction and constant caches
  • Up to 80 texture fetches per clock cycle
              * Up to 128 textures per pixel
              * Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
              * DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
              * High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
              * Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
              * Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
              * Early Z test, Re-Z, Z Range optimization, and Fast Z Clear
              * Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
              * Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
              * 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing support
              * Physics processing support
  • Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
              o High performance vertex cache
              o Programmable tessellation unit
              o Accelerated geometry shader path for geometry amplification
              o Memory read/write cache for improved stream output performance
  • Anti-aliasing features
              o Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
              o Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for improved quality
              o Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
              o Temporal anti-aliasing
              o Gamma correct
              o Super AA (ATI CrossFire™ configurations only)
              o All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering
  •  Texture filtering features
              o 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
              o 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
              o Bicubic filtering
              o sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
              o Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
              o Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
              o Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support
  • OpenGL 2.0 support
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform
              o Dedicated unified video decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC and VC-1 video formats

                          * High definition (HD) playback of both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats
              * Hardware MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and DivX video decode acceleration
                          * Motion compensation and IDCT
              * ATI Avivo Video Post Processor
                          * Color space conversion
                          * Chroma subsampling format conversion
                          * Horizontal and vertical scaling
                          * Gamma correction
                          * Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
                          * De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
                          * Detail enhancement
                          * Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
                          * Bad edit correction
              * Two independent display controllers
                          * Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display
                          * Full 30-bit display processing
                          * Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
                          * Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays
                          * High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all display outputs
                          * Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
                          * Fast, glitch-free mode switching
                          * Hardware cursor
  •  Two integrated dual-link DVI display outputs
                    o Each supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
                    o Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content
  • Two integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
                    o Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x1536
  • HDMI output support
                    o Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x1080
                    o Integrated HD audio controller with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support, enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
  • Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder
                    o Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite)
                    o Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions
                    o Underscan and overscan compensation
  • MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding
  • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
              * VGA mode support on all display outputs
  • ATI PowerPlay™
              o Advanced power management technology for optimal performance and power savings
              o Performance-on-Demand

                          * Constantly monitors GPU activity, dynamically adjusting clocks and voltage based on user scenario
                          * Clock and memory speed throttling
                          * Voltage switching
                          * Dynamic clock gating
              * Central thermal management – on-chip sensor monitors GPU temperature and triggers thermal actions as required
  •  ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology
              o Scale up rendering performance and image quality with two, three, or four GPUs
              o Integrated compositing engine
              o High performance dual channel bridge interconnect



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look Continued
  3. Configuration
  4. Configuration Continued
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing (Setup, Overclocking & Benchmarks)
  7. Testing: Crysis
  8. Testing: Knights of the Sea
  9. Testing: BioShock
  10. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  11. Testing: World in Conflict
  12. Testing: Call of Jaurez
  13. Testing: 3DMark 06 Professional
  14. Extras
  15. Conclusion
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