Palit Radeon HD3850 Super+1GB
- Bus interface: PCI Express® 2.0
- Memory Support: 1024MB DDR2
- Memory Interface: 256 bit
- RAMDACs: 400 MHz
- Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 Shader Model 4.1 support
- 320 stream processing units
- 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
- OpenGL 2.0 support
- Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
- Superscalar unified shader architecture
- ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology
- ATI PowerPlay™
- ATI Avivo™ HD video and display technology
- Dual-link DVI output supports 2560×1600 resolution display
- Native HDMI
- Built for Microsoft® Windows Vista™
Aside from the usual HD3850 features, we see that Palit decided to use four times more onboard memory than the ATI reference HD3850. Most of the HD3850s shipped with only 256MB of GDDR3, and a few with 512MB. One interesting point that is easily overlooked, however, is that the Super+1GB utilizes DDR2, not GDDR3. This will likely reduce the card’s overall memory bandwidth quite a bit, so it will be interesting to see just what sort of difference this will make.
The HD3850 Super+1GB comes packaged in a colorful box. Red for ATI and Green for Nvidia I’ve noticed. Frobot dominates the front once again, as well as some key specifications.
The Super+1GB is really light when it comes to accessories. Nothing but a molex to PCI-E power adapter, a manual and a driver CD is included. I was surprised to see that a crossfire bridge was not included.
The Super+1GB is not your average HD3850; not only is the cooler non-standard, but neither is the PCB and component layout.
The Super+1GB comes with a single DVI, DSUB and HDMI connector. It would have been nice to see the DSUB connector replaced with a second DVI port, but the HDMI connection is definitely a nice feature.
Palit ditched the reference single slot cooler for an ‘orb’ style heatsink. The centrally mounted fan and open fins should allow the memory and PCB to get a fair bit of collateral cooling.
ATI’s HD3850 is well known for its power efficiency. Only a single 6-pin PCI-E power lead is required.
Unlike the reference HD3850 design, the PWM components are to the left of the GPU. I’m not sure why this design consideration was made, but the Super+1GB is about an inch shorter than the HD3850 reference; definitely a good thing.
Two crossfire connectors are present on the Super+1GB, allowing it to be used in a Crossfire-X configuration. Palit does not include a crossfire bridge. Buyers interested in crossfire will have to either buy one separately, or hope that their second card comes with one.
Above is a shot of the DDR2 used: Qimonda HYB18T512161BF-25. After taking a quick look online, it appears to be rated for 400/800MHz operation. Everything you could ever possibly want to know about these ICs can be found in Qimonda’s product document.
There is memory present on both sides of the card. A sticker is present over top of one of the HSF screws stating that the warranty is void if removed.
I was always amazed by the number of tiny components at the rear of the GPU. The reference HD3850 looks like this as well.
The reference card is about an inch longer than the Super+1GB. There are quite a few layout differences as well. The reference design also includes a small passive heatsink for the VRM components. The Super+1GB shouldn’t need a VRM sink as the components will receive airflow thanks to the orb-style heatsink.
GPU-Z correctly reports the DDR2 memory frequency of 400MHz and calculates a bandwidth figure of 25.3GB/s. The Reference 3850 with GDDR3 has a bandwidth rating of around 53GB/s, almost twice that of the Super+1GB.