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Written by Ronald Tibbetts   
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB Video Card
HD 3870 Package and Contents
HD 3870 Technology
Features and Specifications
Diamond HD 3870: Closer Look
HD 3870: Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
Real World Benchmarks
Synthetic Benchmarks
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

HD 3870 Features and Specifications

Keeping true to the Diamond tradition of years past, Diamond has augmented their video card releases with a brand of their own optimized drivers. The most notable of these custom drivers is their SLI "hack" dubbed xDNA. xDNA is a sofware based feature that allows CrossFire set-ups on non CrossFire supporting hardware - namely NVIDIA based motherboards.

Microsoft DirectX 10.1 support

  • Shader Model 4.1
  • 32-bit floating point texture filtering
  • Indexed cube map arrays
  • Independent blend modes per render target
  • Pixel coverage sample masking
  • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders
  • Gather4 texture fetching

RADEON HD 3800 Series

  • Code name: RV670
  • Fabrication process: 55 nm
  • 666 million transistors
  • Unified architecture with an array of common processors for streaming processing of vertices and pixels, as well as other data
  • Hardware support for DirectX 10.1, including Shader Model 4.1, geometry generation, and stream output
  • 256-bit memory bus: four 64-bit controllers connected with a ring bus
  • Core clock: 670-775 MHz
  • 320 scalar floating-point ALUs (integer and floating-point formats, support for FP32 precision in compliance with IEEE 754)
  • 4 enlarged texture units supporting FP16 and FP32 components in textures
  • 32 texture address units (read the details in the baseline article)
  • 80 texture fetch units (read the details in the baseline article)
  • 16 bilinear filtering units that can filter FP16 textures at full speed and support trilinear and anisotropic filtering for all texture formats
  • Dynamic branching in pixel and vertex shaders
  • 16 ROPs supporting antialiasing modes with programmable sample patterns (over 16 samples per pixel, including FP16 or FP32 frame buffer formats). Peak performance: up to 16 samples per cycle, 32 samples per cycle in Z only mode
  • Up to 8 MRT (multiple render targets)
  • Integrated support for two RAMDACs, two Dual Link DVIs, HDMI, HDTV

RADEON HD 3870 Specifications

  • Model SKU: 3870PE4512
  • Core clock: 775 MHz
  • Unified processors: 320
  • 16 texture units, 16 blending units
  • Effective memory frequency: 2250 MHz (2*1125 MHz)
  • GDDR4 memory
  • Memory size: 512 MB
  • Memory bandwidth: 72 GB/sec.
  • Maximum theoretical fill rate: 12.4 gigapixel per second.
  • Theoretical texture sampling rate: 12.4 gigatexel per second.
  • Two CrossFireX connectors
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16
  • 2 x DVI-I Dual Link, 2560x1600 video output
  • TV-Out, HDTV-Out, HDCP support, HDMI adapter
  • Power consumption: up to 105 W

Features:

  • Superscalar unified shader architecture
  • PCI Express 2.0 support
  • 320 Unified Stream Processors
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • Direct X 10.1 / Shader Model 4.1 / OpenGL 2.0
  • ATI Crossfire X Multi-GPU Support for highly scalable performance
  • Up to four GPU support with an AMD 790FX based motherboard
  • High-speed 128-bit-HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering
  • Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing
  • 55nm process technology
  • ATI Avivo HD Video and Display Technology
  • Game Physics processing capability
  • Up to 24X Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing
  • Built-in HDMI with Multi-channel 5.1 surround audio
  • Support for the ATI Radeon DVI to HDMI adapter
  • Unified Video Decoder (UVD) for Blu-ray and HD DVD
  • ATI PowerPlay energy conserving technology
  • RoHS compliant
  • Build in HDCP Support
  • Windows VistaTM 3D environment Support
  • ATI AvivoTM HD Video and Display Technology
  • Built-in HDMI with Multi-channel 5.1 surround audio
  • Two Dual Link DVI with full resolution HDCP support
  • HD video playback
  • Full 30-bit display processing
  • CATALYST Software Drivers
  • Windows VistaTM 3D environment Support
  • Support ATI RadeonTM DVI-I to HDMI adapter

The other software features are more or less optimized version of already present ATI/AMD standards. That being the case Diamond Multimedia is as far as we know the only add-in boad parter to off such amenities, thus settign them apart and ahead of their peers in our opinion.

Diamond Specific Features:

  • xDNA - "xDNA is a platform that enables you to run a CrossFire setup on any chipset, including NVIDIA chipsets. You can pick pretty much any motherboard with any socket, fit it with two Diamond Radeon cards and run CrossFire on it using Diamond's xDNA technology."
  • xDNA TruHDTM - "With Diamond TruHD technologies, you can be sure that the HD audio experience will be just as the movie director, game creator, TV producer, or musician originally intended. The most stunning animation and graphics will fall short if they aren't combined with the mrealism and immediacy of surround sound."
  • TruHD's HD GameTM - "Diamond HD Game technology allows users to push the gaming visual experience to an all new high. Go beyond standard definition (SD) and experience High Definition (HD), the ultimate widescreen, ultra-high-resolution PC experience made possible by Diamond Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs). HD has over 7x the picture clarity of native 1080p HD televisions and 2x the picture clarity of 1080i HD televisions on today's hottest PC games."
  • TruHD's Live³TM - "Live³TM is Diamond's next-generation lossless technology developed for high-definition disc-based media. When coupled with high-definition video, Live³ offers an unprecedented home theater experience that lets you enjoy sound as stunning as the highdefinition picture. The real-time interactive capabilities of Diamond's xDNA Live³ technology are ideally suited to PCs and video games because it reproduces audio cues and effects that follow the on-screen action, transforming gameplay into an exciting and realistic entertainment experience. Gamers hear every window shatter, feel every explosion, and experience every wipeout."
  • Diamond Dynamic Scalability (DDS) - "DDS takes performance to new extremes through its middleware software by dynamically processing load balancing and resource allocation to ensure the highest level of efficiency."
  • Radeon HD 3870 Features at a Glance
    GPU/VPU RADEON HD 3870
    RAMDAC Dual 400 MHz
    Additional Features HDCP Enabled
    HDTV Ready
    OpenGL 2.0
    PCI Express 2.0
    Vista Certified
    DirectX 10.1
    CrossFireX Ready
    Video Memory 512MB
    Memory Type GDDR4
    Core Clock 775 MHz
    Memory Interface 256-bit
    Memory Clock (effective) 2400 MHz
    Stream Processors 320
    Maximum Resolution 2560 x 1600 (Digital)
    Interface Type PCI Express 2.0
    Interface Speed 16x
    Connector(s) Dual DVI (Dual Link)
    HDTV/S-Video
    2 x DVI
    HDMI (w/Adapter)
    Multiple Monitors Support Yes
    Video Card Comparison Chart

    GPU

    ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB GDDR4

    ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB GDDR4

    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra

    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

    API

    DX10.1 + SM4.1

    DX10 + SM4.0

    Transistors (million)

    666

    700

    681

    754

    Manufacturing process (nm)

    55

    80

    90

    65

    Core speed

    775+MHz

    740MHz

    612MHz

    600MHz

    Texture units

    16

    24

    56

    ROPs

    16

    16x2

    24

    16

    Fillrate (GTexels/s)

    12.4

    11.8

    8.64

    3.6

    Memory speed, effective (MHz)

    2200

    1600

    2160

    1350

    Memory Bus Width (Bits)

    256

    512

    384

    256

    Memory bandwidth (GB/s)

    72

    105.6

    103.6

    57

    Framebuffer

    256MiB

    512MiB

    768MiB

    512MiB

    Stream processing units

    320

    120

    112

    SP frequency

    800MHz

    800MHz

    1500MHz

    900MHz

    Video-Acceleration Technology

    Avivo HD

    PureVideo HD

    Outputs

    2 x dual-link DVI with HDCP
    HDTV-Out
    HDMI

    Dependent upon AIC

    TDP

    105W

    215W

    175W

    110W



     

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