Sapphire HD 3850 Reviewgotdamojo06 - November 16, 2007
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The Sapphire HD3850 was a great looking card that ended up being able to kick some butt for an amazingly small price tag. It was able to stand up to some of the current leaders in the graphics card scene and hold its own. This was proven in 3DMark06 when the HD3850 beat the 8800GTS in the 1680x1050 benchmark. Not only during benchmarks was it able to hold its own, but in real world testing, it was able to prove itself against the 8800GTS in BioShock... where the HD3850 fell short by just a few frame rates, which was very surprising. The cooling option that Sapphire ended up using on this card was a decent choice because it did not take up a lot of room in the case. Not only did the fan look good, it was very quiet. I wish that I were able to monitor the temperatures of the card, however when installing the drivers, I ran into an error with Catalyst Control Center and I could never get it to start up. Other than that setback, I was very impressed by the results of this card because of the it's price tag, features and the scores it put out. All of these things make me give it a thumbs up. Sapphire has sold me on this video card, I was so impressed with how it ran and how well it did against all of the other video cards that it will be replacing my current video card in my system.
Note: Due to the fact that Sapphire did send the card out with beta drivers and the fact that that Catalyst Control Center errors did not cause any issues with the way the card was running I am going to take this aspect out when I was judging the award. I will be revisiting this review when newer drivers are released and hopefully these issues are fixed by then.
UPDATE: With the launch of the new drivers for this card, it is clear to see that they fixed some of the bugs. I noticed an improvement in all areas for the benchmarks except for in FarCry. Even in RyderMark, where there was a greatly noticeable increase in points there was improvements. I will be working on overclocking this video card, so please keep checking in for updates.
UPDATE: The Sapphire HD3850 overclocked very easliy using ATI Tool V0.27. The results from overclocking this card speak for themselves, the card still performs well and gains quite a few more FPS.
- Drivers Problems
- Catalyst Control Center Problems