Powercolor HD3850 Extreme PCS - AMD 3850 Performance explored

Game Tests - CoD 4, F.E.A.R. and Oblivion

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 utilises a whole load of the highest DirectX 9.0c features to produce a gorgeous looking but rather PC-stressing game. Cinematic effects such as motion blur and HDR are employed to great effect as well as realistic and fantastic smoke effects and highly detailed character rendering.

call of duty 4

As this is a very new game I only had time to compare the 8800GTX for Call of Duty 4. In general the HD3850 did well, but at some points it got a little jerky. Remember that this was @ 1920 x 1200 with 4 x AA set. You would definitely be able to play this excellent brand new game on your HD3850, and enjoy the experience immensely.


F.E.A.R. is a game based on an engine that uses many features of DirectX 9.0c. It has volumetric lighting, soft shadows, parallax mapping and particle effects, with a slow-motion mode that really taxes today's top of the line GPU's. I used a fully patched version of the game with the latest patch. I played three two-minute runs on a taxing part of the game with plenty of action, using slow-motion for the full time whilst firing at enemy soldiers and using grenades that produce a cool "blast" contortion effect when blown up.

Being a little older, this new card should do well in F.E.A.R. but will it match up to the higher end cards in the testing?

FEAR benchmark
F.E.A.R was again enjoyable on the Powercolor HD3850. Not quite doing as well as the more expensive 8800GT, it never-the-less held it's own against a raft of very costly cards.


Oblivion is an awesome RPG with a simply huge immersive environment, great graphics and incredibly realistic scenery. This game is currently one of the most testing games that you can buy and it is certainly a test of the high-end cards here. I chose to do a run-through of the Arena part of the game. I spoke to a character, did some magic whilst in a fight and fought in the arena that is pretty huge. Also, as well as doing this test I took a wander around to make sure that the benchmark resembled the general gameplay with each card.

oblivion settings

Oblivion is a tough game even on the top end, how will the Powercolor HD3850 fare here?

oblivion benchmark

Oblivion again shows just how fast this mid-high end card is against high end hardware. Oblivion often plays very well on ATI hardware and the HD3850 is no exception.
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Most Recent Comments

15-11-2007, 01:55:56

Nice review Kemp. Performance was a little underwhelming but it all depends on the price point really. I think on the first page hard should be harm.Quote

15-11-2007, 12:12:17

Cheers mate. Performance was pretty damn good if you ask me, £135 for a card that nearly performs as well as an 8800GT?Quote

15-11-2007, 12:17:11

Nice review there, I really thought I would have to be canceling my 8800gt order! But not quite. I've never had an Ati card, but I take it the price will be around £130 and up for pre oc'ed cards. Is the powercolor a reasonably middle of the road brand for Ati?

The cooler looks pretty decent, found a link to manufactures of them:


Nice one Quote

15-11-2007, 12:25:29

looks awsome

performs medeocre - reasonable

not bad i guess Quote

15-11-2007, 12:47:35

ATI are back in the game, well sort of. I wonder when places will get them in stock.Quote

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