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Sapphire HD 3870 Review



This Sapphire HD3870 will be put through a rigorous set of benchmarks that will be very demanding on this video card. I'll be comparing this card against another card from its family - the Sapphire HD2600 XT. In addition to that card, I'll be comparing the Foxconn 8600GTS and the eVGA 8800GTS 640MB against this HD3870. The 8800GTS 640MB is considered a top-of-the-line card while the 8600GTS and HD2600 XT are considered mainstream video cards. Let's see where this Sapphire HD3870 falls when compared against three great cards. In all of the gaming benchmarks and tests, higher is better.

Test System:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor
  • Abit IN9 32X-Max Wi-Fi Motherboard
  • Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Memory
  • Cooler Master 750watt Power Supply
  • Western Digital 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s Hard Drive
  • Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Enermax Uber Chakra ATX Full Tower Case
  • Driver Version 7.10
  • UPDATED: Driver Version 7.11

Comparison Cards:

  • Sapphire HD 2600XT (ATi)
  • Foxconn 8600GTS OC (nVidia)
  • eVGA 8800GTS 640MB (nVidia)

NOTE: Our Sapphire HD 2900 XT was going to be included in this review but we don't have updated benchmark results at this time. The scores will be implemented into the review shortly.

UPDATE: We re-ran all of the benchmarks over with the new drivers that were posted on the Sapphire website after the review was launched. The results are in each of the graphs as "New Drivers".

Gaming Benchmarks:

  • Far Cry: Hardware OC (Ubisoft Volcano)
  • F.E.A.R. (Performance Test)
  • Call of Duty 2: Stalingrad (FRAPS)
  • Quake 4: Hardware OC
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted (FRAPS)
  • BioShock (FRAPS)


Overclocking: The most that I could get out of this card was the core clock at 850MHz from the stock 777MHz and the memory at almost 1300 from the stock 1126. I re-ran all of the benchmarks with the overclocked settings. The overclocking took place with the newest drivers installed. The overclocked results are denoted by "Overclocked" in the graphs.


Benchmark: Far Cry

First, I'll start with an older first person shooter.


  • Maximum quality option, Direct3D renderer
  • Level: Volcano, demo: Volcano.tmd
  • Pixel shader: model 2.0b
  • Antialising: 4×
  • Anisotropic filtering: 8×
  • HDR: disabled
  • Geometry Instancing: disabled
  • Normal-maps compression: disabled



Looks like the Sapphire HD3870 and the eVGA 8800GTS will be a good battle.


  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Graphics Board)
  3. Closer Look (Accessories & Software)
  4. Closer Look (ATi RV670 GPU)
  5. Installation & Configuration
  6. Configuration (Catalyst Control Center) & Specifications
  7. Testing & Benchmark: Far Cry
  8. Benchmark: F.E.A.R.
  9. Benchmark: Call of Duty 2
  10. Benchmark: Quake 4
  11. Benchmark: Need for Speed Most Wanted
  12. Benchmark: BioShock
  13. Benchmark: 3DMark06
  14. Benchmark: RyderMark
  15. Conclusion
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