MSI R3870 X2 T2DIG

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Hugh MANN

Skewed Results!

From what I can tell from the product secifications, neither the Intel D975BX2, nor the EVGA 680i SLI motherboards are PCIE 2.0 compliant, and to use them to compare the MSI R3870 X2 and the XFX GEFORCE 8800 Ultra in a head to head showdown does a great disservice to both videocards!

The name of the magazine is MAXIMUM PC, and to castrate and cripple these videocards with a last generation motherboard does not allow either card to demonstrate it’s MAXIMUM potential!

I assume that the 3D Mark 06 benchmark scores were obtained using the default resolutions, and with Antialiasing and Anistropic Filtering disabled, but there was no mention of this! A proper product review would include tests made at low, medium, and high resolutions, with and without AA and AF! Moreover, there is more to a product review than just a few benchmark scores, and there is more to a computer system than just the video card!

The video card is part of a system, and consumers are interested in just how well the video card integrates itself with the system, and makes use of the system resources! To say that each motherboard had 2 GB of Corsair DDR RAM doesn’t tell me much at all! What speed was the DDR RAM? (Typing error should be DDR2 RAM), but was it 533/667/800/1066/1200 MHz DDR2 Memory?

What was the FSB and Hypertransport speeds? Would performance increase with a faster CPU and - or faster memory! Would performance increase in Windows XP 64 which can make full utilization of more memory?

Other questions include, operating temperatures and noise levels at idle and heavy loads, and how well it overclocks, and which set of drivers was being used! (ATI updates it’s drivers almost every month, and some people have reported significant performance increases by going to the newer drivers)!

In addition to comparing benchmarks with the GEFORCE 8800 Ultra, how does it compare with a GEFORCE 8800 GTX (512 Meg), and with ATI’s Reference design for the Radeon HD 3870 X2, and also with two single GPU Radeon HD 3780's in Crossfire?

Not every 8800 is created equal, and the same thing can be said for the Radeon HD 3870 and also for the Radeon HD 3870 X2! Between the individual manufacturers differences do exist! Primarily in how aggressively the video card is overclocked, and secondarily in the different cooling solutions used!

The Asus EAH3870X2 1GB Top (Top Overclocking Performance) offers a radically different cooling solution than the “leaf blower” which is the ATI reference design! A very comprehensive product review appears in the Overclockers Club website!

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/asus_eah3870x2/

Sapphire Technologies has just added a water cooled version of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 to it’s ATOMIC lineup of video cards and a brief review appears in the Fudzilla website!

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5870&Itemid=40

Aside from some nice pictures, not much technical information was provided, but with excessive heat and noise removed from the equation we can be assured that it will be an overclocker’s dream come true!

The MSI R3870 X2 was the first of the Radeon HD 3870 X2's to be reviewed by Maximum PC, and hopefully, it won’t be the last! Hopefully, the readers will not judge all Radeon HD 3870 X2's by what they see in the MSI R3870 X2, and hopefully by the time Michael Brown begins to write these reviews, someone at Maximum PC will provide him with some newer generation motherboards that allows either type of video card to demonstrate it’s MAXIMUM potential!

Only someone who has more money than common sense would choose a video card based on framerates alone! Each card has its PROS and CONS and it is up to the consumer to decide what is best for them!

At this stage of the game, my advice would be to adopt a wait and see attitude before you start shelling out your hard earned cash!

Nvidia plans to launch the Geforce 9800 GX2 on the 18th of March, and on the 25th Nvidia plans to launch the Geforce 9800 GTX, Nforce 750a SLI and Nforce 780a SLI chipsets for AMD processors. These will have an IGP and will support Hybrid power, as well as Hybrid SLI.

Also on the 25th Nvidia plans to release the Quad SLI drivers! So a wait and see attitude would be the best course of action for the present! More information is available at,

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=12&Itemid=65

Overall, the thing that I find most surprising is that Nvidia plans to release the Nforce 780a SLI chipsets for AMD processors. Ever since their merger with ATI, AMD as the parent corporation has been in direct competition with Nvidia! It has been a couple of years since there have been any AMD based motherboards that were SLI capable, and in that time we have seen the release of the AM2+ Phenom Quad Core CPU’s and also the PCIE specification upgraded to 2.0!

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silentbravo

MSI Radeon 2870 x2, yes it says 2870 x2, In BOTH benchmarks, nice scores though, I must have this 2870 x2...

oh its in the specs to: Radeon HD 2870 x2

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crysismaster

i mean 4 3870X2 in a single mobo. is tat possible?

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nsvander

From looking at the card on newegg's site, it does not look like you could get more then 2 attached, there is only one x-fire slot on the card.

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crysismaster

how much juice does it need to run the msi 3870 x2 in cross fire x mode (four of the same cards).

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dthompsonx

275 x 4 = 1100

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