AMD recently took another stab at closing on NVIDIA with the announcement of the R680 processor — an ultra-enthusiast component assured to woo the headlines of even the most ardent reviewers.
The AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2 is two RV670 GPUs “Crossfired” on a single board, and it is AMD’s first corporate-sanctioned attempt at a dual GPU card after the failed ATI Rage Fury MAXX back around the turn of the century. Many would claim the Rage MAXX was too little, too late and too expensive.
NVIDIA showcased its dual GPU offerings more recently with two separate chips on dedicated PCBs, sandwiched to form the 7950GX2. The design worked as two of these graphics cards could be used for a Quad SLI setup, but like the Rage Fury MAXX, the cost/performance ratio just didn’t attract sales outside of a few hardcore enthusiasts.
AMD aims to improve its lineup with the Radeon HD 3870 X2. FPS Labs took the chance to put the card to the test against current generation cards.
In short, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 keeps up with the likes of NVIDIA’s 8800GT SLI setup and an 8800GTX single-card setup. It does outshine the rest of the cards on the list in the DirectX 10 Call of Juarez test, but in little else. The HD 3870 X2 received a 3DMark06 score of 13852 while NVIDIA’s 8800GT SLI came in at a close second with a score of 13463. FPS Labs used ATI Catalyst drivers 7.12.
In the end, AMD looks like it has done a better job with the Radeon HD 3870 X2 than it did with the Rage Fury MAXX as the card’s price and performance match up with NVIDIA’s latest offerings. With NVIDIA’s newest just around the corner AMD has its work cut out for it.
The Radeon HD 3870 X2 is currently listed at various online retailers for around $400, which is more than the retail price of NVIDIA’s 8800GT but well under the $500+ price range of the 8800GTX.
AMD’s embargo ends tonight at midnight, but various other publications that hold no NDA schedules can purchase the card and write about it.
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