Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 512MB Review
By Vince Freeman :
May 14, 2008
FarCry is a first-person shooter that took in-game graphics to the next level, although in a different direction than DOOM 3 or Quake 4. Instead of darkness and confined spaces, FarCry can place you outdoors, on bright sandy beaches, jungles or even on the water itself. This game gives our video cards a different kind of a stress test, and rest assured that FarCry ranks up there with the very toughest 3D game benchmarks. FarCry is an interesting benchmark, as it combines old school performance requirements with hot new features such as support for SM 3.0. For this test, we are using the full retail version updated to version 1.4, along with a custom demo file.
The updated patches enable SM3.0 support for FarCry, and this makes it another good test of gaming feature sets and performance. FarCry is a game that many newer DirectX 10 video cards have trouble with, especially on the ATI side, and the Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 512MB proves to an average performer at standard details. It is slightly faster than the Radeon HD 3850 and HD 2900 XT 512MB cards, but simply can't match up to the top GeForce 8800 models.
FarCry AA and AF Widescreen Performance
Once we graduate to the more demanding widescreen resolutions using 4X AA and 16X AF settings, the Gigabyte card drops back from the high-end GeForce 8800-based cards, and can't match the DirectX 9 Radeon X1900 XTX.
Quake 4 Performance
Quake 4 is another old school benchmark, a 3D first-person shooter from id Software and Raven. While the actual storyline is standard fare and the game itself is based on the DOOM 3 engine, the graphics are exceptional and it is an improvement over previous editions. The lighting and shadow effects are excellent, and the overall level design and architecture are a real treat. Coupled with our demanding timedemo, the overall graphics card load can be extreme, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the actual hardware you are testing.
The first Quake 4 benchmark results show the Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 512MB posting good scores for its class, but still not up to some of the other top-rated models.
Quake 4 AA and AF Widescreen Performance
The higher-resolution/4X AA-16X AF performance scores show the Gigabyte Radeon HD 3870 in a better light, and the card demonstrates a real performance edge at 1920x1200.