Review: Core running at 851MHz
Asus has been kind enough to supply us with a factory-overclocked EAH3870 Top card, one of the fastest cards in its class. Ever since ATI gave a green light on Radeon overclocking Asus had a special model, instantly recognizable thanks to the word “TOP” in the name. This card with the core running at 851MHz definitely earns its name. The stock HD3870 card runs at 775MHz, so Asus did an impressive overclock of 76MHz. Memory overclock, on the other hand, somewhat failed to meet our expectations since it was overclocked to 1143MHz (2286MHz effectively), so it’s just 25MHz over the reference speed.
Asus kept the reference cooling and the only con of this is its dual-slot width, whereas the card is lighter than you might think. PCB is also a reference design, so the only reason to differentiate between these two versions is a sticker showing characters from Company of Heroes (Opposing Fronts).
Of course, you’ll find Company of Heroes in the box, but this time around there was no Black Box voucher that AMD offers to its partners selling HD 3870. So, you can enjoy Opposing Fronts, one of the better DirectX 10 games.
Powering this card is done by a single 6 pin PCI-Express power connector and you can expect your RV670 chip to require up to 105W. Radeon HD 3870 cards use GDDR4 memory, and Asus made sure to point that out on the box.
Another small Asus logo found its place on top of the card, whereas two dual-link DVI connectors and a VIVO port are placed on the I/O side. You can connect your HDTV to this card using a DVI-to-HDMI dongle. RV670 packs an integrated audio controller that’ll enable you to route audio trough the DVI connector and have a hassle-free HD experience.
EAH3870 Top is a DirectX 10 card with DX 10.1 and Shader model 4.1 support. The new PCI Express 2.0 interface is also there, and it’s backwards compatible.
Additional performance is guaranteed, but the comparison graph on the box is a bit too much. You can expect up to 10 percent performance increase and only in rare cases will you get more.
Asus has always shipped their Top cards in large boxes, and it’s no wonder, as those are extremely easy to spot on cluttered shelves. Furthermore, more and more partners do that since it’s provides quite nice marketing.
Apart from the card and the Opposing Front game, Asus ships a CD/DVD case, DVI-to-HDMI dongle, the usual cables and a CrossFire connector. There’s also some additional software such as Gamer OSD (video recording, screenshot and fps-measuring application), SmartDoctor (graphics card monitoring and overclocking), Asus Splendid video player and Video Security Online, a CCTV app that makes remote viewing of your home possible via Webcams.