What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

HIS Radeon HD3870 Review & Crossfire Performance Preview

Not open for further replies.


Staff member
Folding Team
Oct 2, 2006


This is going to be a bit of a tough one for me because in the end, the HIS HD3870 presented us with a mixed bag of performance figures even though its price is nothing short of a revelation. In some games this card is really able to burn up the track while in others it lags behind other cards quite significantly; particularly in some of the DX10 benchmarks. When looking at the overall picture, I have to say that ATI should be proud of what they have done with the performance of this card. In many tests it was very close in performance to everyone’s new Cinderella card – the 8800GT- which is quite amazing considering the HD3870 is not much more than a respin of the older R600 core. The increased clock frequencies go a long way to helping it punch above its weight category but unfortunately, it seems like the beta drivers we used (both the 8.43 that shipped with the card and the 8.44) need a bit more work in certain areas.

Its backwards compatibility with past water blocks and aftermarket heatsinks is another interesting aspect of this card. Yet, at the same time once your new heatsink is installed you will realize how painfully under-designed the stock heatsink is. Even though it may allow the core to get to about 87°C under load there is no way the HD3870’s cooler can be called loud since it is wonderfully quiet while moving a fair amount of air.

HIS has a good bundle with their HD3870 card but there is still one area where I find it falls completely flat: the warranty. Many Nvidia’s largest board partners are now offering lifetime warranties with their cards while ATI’s partners are languishing in the background with their one, two or three-year warranties. Personally, I think that HIS’s single year of warranty coverage is paltry at best. AMD really needs to step in here and slap some sense into their board partners because their lack of competitive warranties is costing AMD sales.

Finally, I have to speak out about the included drivers with this card. The 8.43 drivers allow this card to perform quite well but they are by no means final drivers and that as made painfully apparent to me with the switch to the 8.44 RC2 drivers which were released only two days ago. Granted, it is good to see that there is a quick turn-around at ATI when it comes to driver revisions but I would have much preferred to have seen more polished drivers attached to the retail versions of these cards.

Without a doubt the HD3870 is a step in the right direction for the new ATI and it can serve as a great building block for future cards. Sure, it does not compete with the 8800GT in terms of absolute performance but its price is nearly impossible to beat. Also, with the recent supply problems with the 8800GT, ATI is poised to take advantage of Nvidia’s blunder. So, the HIS Radeon HD3870 gets a 4/5 rating and our Dam Good Value Award.


- Good performance
- Quiet operation
- Very efficient
- Phenomenal value
- Backwards compatibility with past aftermarket heatsinks


- 1 year warranty
- Beta drivers
- Ineffective stock heatsink



We encourage feedback from our readers. Please go here to post your comments and suggestions: Comment Thread for HIS Radeon HD3870 Review
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts