Articles: Graphics
 

Bookmark and Share

(10) 
Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 ]

Conclusion

It’s hard to make a brief and definite conclusion about Gigabyte’s GV-RX385256H and GV-RX387512H cards. On one hand, these cards feature a unique PCB design, a high-quality power circuit, and a powerful cooler. The senior model also features a good overclocking potential. On the other hand, we don’t grasp Gigabyte’s idea of lowering the frequencies of both models. As a result, their performance is lower than that of the reference Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 by 3-7%.

When it comes to the senior model this can be explained by the inexpensive GDDR3 memory instead of the rare and expensive GDDR4 – and this frequency gap can be easily closed by overclocking. But it’s just a sabotage to install chips rated for only 700 (1400) MHz on the junior model! We could not overclock them even to the level of the reference Radeon HD 3850 and we don’t think we were unlucky. Hynix memory is just no good at overclocking in general.

Thus, the Gigabyte GV-RX385256H can only be interesting for the user if its retail price is far lower than that of the GeForce 9600 GT which is superior to it in every parameter. The advanced cooler doesn’t make much sense because this model doesn’t overclock well. And even if you overclock its GPU successfully, the memory frequency will be the bottleneck. Moreover, the dimensions of the cooling system and the high level of noise from it may prevent you from installing the GV-RX385256H into your home multimedia center where the memory frequency wouldn’t be so important. In other words, the positioning of this product is not quite clear to us. The GV-RX385256H can only be viewed as an inexpensive alternative to Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT, for instance.

The Gigabyte GV-RX387512H deserves a more optimistic verdict, we think. Having a lower price thanks to its inexpensive GDDR3 memory, this card can be overclocked to deliver good performance. It belongs to the Ultra Durable 2 series, making an appealing buy for enthusiasts. And even if you don’t overclock it, it is generally but slightly slower than the reference Radeon HD 3870. So, if it comes to retail at a comparable or lower price, this card can make a good alternative to the GeForce 9600 GT.

Besides the models discussed in this review, Gigabyte’s RV670-based line-up includes the GV-RX38512H model with 512MB of fast graphics memory but with lower frequencies than those of the senior model. If priced acceptably, it can be an even more appealing variant for affordable overclocking than the GV-RX387512H.

As for the accessories to both cards, we can see one drawback only: the lack of a DVI-I → HDMI adapter and software for playing HD content. Otherwise, the accessories are good enough for the price category these products come from. You get a nice bonus, a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2. The package design is quite nice too, although not extraordinary if compared with other manufacturers’ products.

Gigabyte GV-RX387512H Summary

Highs:

  • Good performance in contemporary games;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering;
  • Great future potential: DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.1 support;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding support;
  • Integrated sound core with HDMI support;
  • PCI Express 2.0 support;
  • No compatibility problems;
  • Efficient cooling system;
  • Use of high-quality components in the voltage regulator circuitry;
  • Pretty good overclocking potential;
  • Full version of Neverwinter Nights 2 game.

Lows:

  • Yields to Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT in most benchmarks;
  • Falls slightly behind the reference ATI Radeon HD 3870;
  • Lower memory frequency;
  • Higher level of generated noise;
  • No HDMI adapter and software for HD video content playback among bundled accessories.

Gigabyte GV-RX385256H Summary

Highs:

  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering;
  • Great future potential: DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.1 support;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding support;
  • Integrated sound core with HDMI support;
  • PCI Express 2.0 support;
  • No compatibility problems;
  • Efficient cooling system;
  • Use of high-quality components in the voltage regulator circuitry;
  • Full version of Neverwinter Nights 2 game.

Lows:

  • Yields significantly to Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT in most benchmarks;
  • Falls slightly behind the reference ATI Radeon HD 3850;
  • Too little video memory onboard;
  • Lower memory frequency;
  • Not very high overclocking potential;
  • Higher level of generated noise;
  • No HDMI adapter and software for HD video content playback among bundled accessories.
 
Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 ]

Discussion

Comments currently: 10
Discussion started: 05/22/08 01:21:55 PM
Latest comment: 06/03/08 05:26:48 AM

View comments

Add your Comment




Latest materials in Graphics section

Article Rating

Article Rating: 7.2500 out of 10
 
Rate this article:
Excellent
Average
Poor