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Wednesday | April 14, 2021
XFX 8800 GS XXX / Sapphire HD 3850

XFX 8800 GS XXX / Sapphire HD 3850

Product image

Conclusion

XFX

The XFX 8800 GS XXX is a very impressive product when we look at performance on its own. The enhanced clock speeds of this model mean it outperforms every other GS that we have seen. Some of the more impressive performance figures can be seen by flicking back to the Oblivion or Half-Life 2 pages.  Additionally, the card looks great with its black PCB and green DVIs. We also liked the design of the XFX cooler with its solid copper heatsink, although in some situations the fan is a little too loud for our liking.

It is when we take a look at the overall package that the shine is somewhat removed from this model. Firstly XFX seem determined to overclock memory past its rated speed on many of their cards including this model which runs 100MHz above specification, in fact when over clocking we could only squeeze a further 8mhz from the memory, so it is right on the edge. That said, XFX do offer a two year warranty.

The other major issue we have with the XXX variant of the GS is that the retail price drags it out of competition with the 3850 and into direct competition with the 3870 (which is only £5 more), unfortunately the GS cannot compete with the higher specification ATI card and this pricing level seems to be the major shortcoming today. The card actually is a great piece of hardware, but we need to fair and unbiased when coming to our final conclusions, after all we are recommending hardware which you will be spending your hard earned cash on.

If XFX can drop the price of this card by £10-£15 (£115-120) then it immediately becomes much more desirable, however as it stands it is still an excellent purchase if you want the fastest GS model out there.

XFX retails for $190 Newegg // £130 CCL

Sapphire
Before we go any further we must address the performance of the Sapphire 3850 first. As shown in this review there are many cases where the card cannot compete with the 8800 GS XXX. This is to be expected given the price difference between the two cards. When looking at the 3850 on its own we have a product which performs exceptionally well for its modest price (£105). The fact that it is able to match the more expensive GS in some scenarios is an added bonus.

We were also impressed to see an excellent bundle provided by Sapphire, despite the £25 price difference, everything from the 3870 package makes its way into this product, including free Valve games and a DVI to HDMI convertor. This HDMI connector also allows us to take advantage of the products excellent high definition acceleration and display quality. For anyone who has a media centre system the 3850 provides a great option for gaming and movies.

The Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 256mb is an ideal card for anyone looking to game on a smaller screen or without anti-aliasing. The excellent performance for the money spent combined with the great bundle and feature set makes the card one of the best value for money components available.

 

Sapphire retails for $169 Novadirect // £105 Scan

 

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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