Benchmarking the VT HD 3870
Results

3D Mark 2005

This will probably be the last go around for this aging benchmark, as most high end cards run this perfectly fine.  It is fairly indicative of high end titles released in the 2004/2005 timespan, and as such still suitable to generally point out how those titles will perform.

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Without AA or AF enabled in the control panels, we see the HD 3870 take a small but commanding lead over the 8800 GT.

3D Mark 2006

The upgraded tests in 3DM2006 are significantly more hefty when it comes to shader complexity, and they tend to bog machines down even with the highest performing parts onboard.

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We see the tables turned here as the 8800 GT pulls ahead in the majority of the tests.  The only real exception is the HDR2 test, but the margin of difference for that one test is pretty minimal.

Far Cry
 
Far Cry really is a classic game, and it certainly pushed graphics cards in 2004 like Crysis is doing in 2008.  It is still a hefty title for any card at maximum details with AA and AF enabled.  I put settings to Ultra with 4X AA and 16X AF.

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The performance hit that the HD 3870 takes over the 8800 GT when AA is enabled is quite evident.  For two cards that were fairly evenly matched in the 3D Mark series, there is now a gaping difference in performance at all levels.

Far Cry HDR

Using the 1.4 patch, I enabled HDR rendering in Far Cry.  Unfortunately AA is not officially supported in this patch, so it was left disabled but 16X AF was enabled.  Ultra details were retained for testing.

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We again see the 8800 GT take a pretty significant lead.  The 3870 is more competitive when AA is disabled, but the NVIDIA card still forges ahead with greater overall performance.

Prey
 
For OpenGL testing I chose Prey, which uses the latest incarnation of the Doom 3 engine.  This is a pretty heavily modified title when compared to 2004’s Doom 3, but even now it is starting to look a little long in the tooth as compared to Direct3D titles like Bioshock and Crysis.  Maximum settings were enabled as well as 4X AA and 16X AF.  A timedemo was played back with vsync disabled (results greater than 60 fps).

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At low resolutions the 8800 GT was significantly faster, while at the maximum resolution the HD 3870 was only 4 fps behind the faster card.  Both cards were very playable at that level of detail and resolution though.

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