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Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 1GB review

1GB of memory for a very attractive price

Its huge memory buffer offers a modicum of future-proofing

Our Verdict

An attractively priced package with plenty to keep overclockers happy


  • Massive amount of memory
  • Future proof
  • Fair price

From the sub-prime to the ridiculous.

That was our instinctive feeling when we realised that Asus' 256MB 8800 GT board was priced to compete with a 1GB card, the HD 3850.

Impressive memory

But as conventional thinking on graphics memory is outdated, we must recalibrate our attitudes towards affordable boards with mega memory counts for this AMD-powered Sapphire card.

Tons of memory isn't a marketing ruse anymore, the latest PC games are data-intensive. If you don't have enough memory, you'll dip into system RAM and that's a recipe for tragic 3D performance.

But not here. Despite the low price Sapphire has managed to fit decent GDDR3 chips with plenty of overclocking headroom.