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Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Atomic 512MB review

Fast and furious, but can it deliver on graphics?

Screaming memory and core frequencies. But the 8800GT still has the edge

Our Verdict

A powerful and fast card that will leave you suitably impressed


  • Strong performance
  • Effective cooling system


  • Not much for overclockers here

Three hundred and twenty stream processors. Sounds impressive, eh?

Surely, NVIDIA's GeForce 8800GT chipset and its pathetic tally of 112 stream processor can't possibly compete?

Actually it can. But that's mostly because GPU specs are as much spin as they are solemn sermon.

Effective cooling

In truth, the HD 3800 family is 64 extremely powerful five-way shader units. But then 64 doesn't sound as sexy as 320. So, 320 it is.

Marketing spiel aside, Sapphire's new Atomic cooling solution certainly delivers. This is the fastest stock-clocked HD 3870 in town, but it still has a little left for overclockers.

That's quite an achievement given that this slim single-slot 3870 is up against the dual-slot cooler of the AMD reference design.