small  PowerColor Radeon HD3850 Xtreme PCS Edition

Shortly after the launch of the Radeon HD3850, PowerColor launches its own version with twice the amount of memory, better cooling and overclocked right from the factory! Will it be worth their efforts or will it falter? Read on to find out!

In our last review, we looked at a pair of cards from Sapphire based on ATI’s new GPU, the RV670.  In the review, we compared both cards and found that the performance of the HD3850 was significantly lagging behind the HD3870 despite both cards using the same GPU albeit at different clockspeeds. However, we now have in our labs, the HD3850 Xtreme Professional Cooling System Edition courtesy of PowerColor. Not only does it feature a Zerotherm heatpipe cooler and 512MB of memory, PowerColor has taken the liberty to overclock the card at the factory before delivering it into the hands of enthusiasts! 
Given a boost in memory and clockspeeds, we will to find out if PowerColor has managed to unleash the power of the HD3850 to bring it to the next level and give NVIDIA a run for it’s money.

IMG 0264  PowerColor Radeon HD3850 Xtreme PCS Edition

The PowerColor Radeon HD3850 Xtreme PCS Edition comes in an unassuming box.
Would it be a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?  Read on to find out.

Let’s take a look at the basic specifications differences before we open it up:

Feature/ Model
HD3850/ 256MB
HD3850 Xtreme PCS / 512MB

NVIDIA 8600GTS/ 256MB

Stream Processors
320
320

32 @ 1450MHz

Texture Units
16
16

16

Render Back-ends
16
16

8

Transistors
666 Million
666 Million

289 million

Fabrication Process
55nm
55nm

80nm

Core Clock
670MHz
720MHz

675MHz

Memory Clock
1.66GHz
1.8GHz

2.0GHz

Memory Type
GDDR3
GDDR3

GDDR3

Memory Interface
256-bit
256-bit

128-bit

System Bus Support
PCIe 2.0 x16
PCIe 2.0 x16

PCIe x16

DirectX Support
10.1
10.1

10