The early batch was a quick fix. It was bumpless if from a reputable vendor like the egg. It was a single resistor, and was called to fix rather than have a questionable issue out there in the wild. It's easier to fix before customers get them in their hands...if it even ever pops up. I think they knew they'd go out of stock quick anyway, and chose to just get em back and fix 'em.
The things were out of stock everywhere for a week, but not all because of this very issue. Maybe a day or two, because revised/fixed boards were shipped the same day they were asked to send them back. Now they're out of stock because we're all buying them as soon as they hit the shelf. Christmas panic adds to this.
Whether they're all the same or not is up in the air for me, so let me explain a bit on the HD3000 line over all. Initially, I got the HIS HD3870 before the price jack. The core had no specific labeling of what it was or revision and all that. That leaves that open in my mind as to what might be out there now or later with the same RV670XT core. On that brand of card was Quidmoto memory (or however you spell it) and a two piece cooler. It has a memory bar totally separate from the GPU cooler once removed. While looking into another recently, I see the VisionTek (that isn't here yet) I hear of Infineon and Samsung branded GDDR4 being possible...The Samsung BC09 being the more popular spotted RV670XT-wide.
So with the memory variants out there, I don't think we can say they're all the same. One might as well show a better memory side OC than the other. But the quidmoto (who!? I can't spell it. Someone correct that please!) GDDR4 autoset in the ATI tool to 2746Mhz. Almost 500Mhz over the shipped spec speeds. This is the real plus in the 70 and not the buffer/texture size (GeCube has 512M of GDDR3 on their 3850). No sales pitch really needed, but it's the GDDR4 that makes these things nVidia beaters. Just one site review, but more are to follow
The coolers might as well go single slot, and thus taking away the two-piece builds eventually. The load temp was high on the HIS, but idle was very very cool. I imagine if they do better thinking on the double slot cooler it can be made better. It seems to be the same used on the 2900XT and not purpose built. On that, the 2900XT coolers fit the HD3850 and 70 cards.
The only difference is the full cover waterblocks due to memory layout. I stuck the Danger Den Acetal cooler that was on a 7800GT on the 3850 with the old and long un-used ATI mounting kit that came with it. So I imagine the 3870's two piece cooler would be nice since you can just leave the memory heatsink on without buying more stuff or waiting on a full-cover block.
So, are they the same? I guess if you just open the box and run them. Asus puts a $35 game in their box for $20 more than the other cards. And a sticker. HIS came with stupid Demos...not full games. Demos for games we have, or should have, already. Asus comes with Asus apps, that are more clunky than ATI's own sets included in the drivers. Some don't include the bridge, so watch for those too. It comes down to what's in the box, how much you pay, and in the long run...the memory. Oh, and I only know of the VisionTek having a lifetime warranty. The others seem to have a one year coverage.
I hope to have more pics once the VisionTek comes in. I like HIS, but I'm sure it's the same card overall. If it can autoclock the memory the same, if not better, I'll be fine. I'm waiting on BestBuy's very slow shipping. They were in stock late last night, but now gone. The card, shipping, and tax came to $230...that's what the upfront cost is on the other sites, so it's a deal IMO. But have to wait a week or two for it to arrive. (was given a window of Dec 8th - Dec 17th!?
Who's the memory brand that I'm making mince meat of? It's killing me, google isn't helping, and I can't find it in my documents.