ATI's Radeon HD 3800 series hits; HD 3870 X2 slays NVIDIA 8800 Ultra

Looks like Radeons are competitive again. For a whole year, ATI and their owner/partner AMD have lagged behind the industry leaders NVIDIA and Intel in GPU and CPU performance. Well, it looks like ATI has finally managed to come out on top (again), although it’s entirely possible that their competitors will drop something hot in the next few weeks as well.

The 3800 series is their high-end graphics card series, and the HD 3870 X2 is the dual-GPU’d beast they engineered to do battle with the 8800 Ultra. Tom’s Hardware, whom I trust in these things, has it beating the 8800 by 7%, while costing about $250 less ($450 vs $700 street prices). That’s a triumph, and even if NVIDIA does paste two cards together too, the cost would be prohibitive. Add in the hardware HD decoder and you’ve got a sweet deal, although you might not be able to hear the movie over the sound of the fan working overtime to cool two GPUs. And 66 frames per second in Call of Duty 4 at 1920×1200? Yes, please!

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