ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review :: Gaming on the 3870X2

02-13-2008 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Ben Sun

One of the first things that I like to do with a new video card is to turn on every setting available in the control panel and see how it runs the latest games. The 3870X2 has anti-aliasing settings up to 16x (which is 8x for each card). The first game Iíve been playing is Enemy Territory Quake Wars. This is a popular squad based game that was released last year. DirectX 9.0 graphics make this an easy test for the 3870X2. The game played extremely well, with frame rates in the high 50s with 1680x1050 resolutions and 4x MSAA enabled.

The second game I played on the 3870X2 was COD4 Modern Warfare, the latest in a long running series of squad based war games from Activision. This game was completely playable at 1680x1050 resolution and 4x MSAA enabled. The game was playable at 8X AA as well, but the cards was a bit sluggish at 16x AA and 16x AF as to be expected at that resolution. This is the card to get to play this game as the game rocks at the native resolution and settings at maximum.

Crysis was one of the first DirectX10 titles to hit the market last year. The game is the second from Crytek, whose earlier claim to fame was Far Cry one of the first DirectX 9.0 games. Crysis takes place on a world thatís totally lifelike with beautifully rendered graphics on DirectX 10 hardware. The 3870X2 was able to play the game successfully at 1680x1050 (my monitorís native resolution) without issues. The 3870X2 can play this game with maximum settings which are a far cry from the 3870 cards that wouldnít be fully playable at those settings. I wouldnít try it with FSAA as it slows the game to a crawl, but the game is playable without AA enabled.

Lost Planet was a game designed by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and Windows. The game has a DirectX 10 feature set with a DirectX 9.0 fallback. Turning on all the settings in this game was an interesting experience as the game would crash at first. Enabling Multi-GPU rendering caused an error on the screen. Fixing it was simply a matter of disabling Multi-GPU rendering. Realizing my stupidity at enabling multiple GPU on a single card solution like the 3870X2, I played the game without issue after disabling the setting. ATIís use of Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing was introduced with their RADEON 8500 series of cards early in 2000. Their 8500 and later chips supported up to 6 sample MSAA. ATI launched their HD2900XT chipset last year with the first improvement to the number of samples to 8. The 3870X2 has the ability to run in 16x mode with each 3870 chip running in 8x mode. Hereís a comparison between no AA, 4x AA and 16x AA on the 3870X2 the next three shots are of the same scene on an NVIDIA 8800GTX card. The next three shots are of the same scene on an NVIDIA 8800GTX card.


ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review

ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 Review