The Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro is a 3850 Pro-powered beauty of a graphics card from Asus.

The Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro impressed us so much that we reckon it will sell very well indeed. And in case you can't find Sapphire's excellent rendition, here's another 3850 Pro-powered beauty from Asus.

In essence the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro is the same card as the Sapphire – even the performance is pretty much identical.

And that sameness is a very good thing, since the performance of the HD 3850 Pro chip is stunning given that both the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro and the Sapphire card cost a mere £112.

The Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro is based around the 55nm RV670 GPU and, just as with the 3870, this gives it support for DirectX 10.1 – in contrast, the best of the nVidia bunch extend only to version 10.0 of DirectX.

Of course, it remains to be seen just how many titles do more than pay lip service to the extra visuals offered by 10.1. But it's hardly a disadvantage to have support that's too good. And with the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro you do also get excellent video facilities thrown in, given the appearance of UVD (Unified Video Decoder).

Now, obviously the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro's performance isn't the very best you can buy. It's not going to reach the heights of the 3870, for instance, much less the 8800 GT and 8800 GTS 512. However, those cards are considerably more expensive. And in contrast to sub-£100 cards, the 3850 Pro gives you enough performance to cruise through many of today's top games titles.

Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro: Specs

  • Radeon HD 3850 Pro
  • 256MB GDDR3
  • 668MHz Core Clock
  • 828MHz Memory Clock
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 320 Stream Processors
  • PCI-E Interface
  • TV Out/Video In yes/no
  • DirectX 10.1
  • DVI
  • 3-year warranty
  • Radeon HD 3850 Pro
  • 256MB GDDR3
  • 668MHz Core Clock
  • 828MHz Memory Clock
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 320 Stream Processors
  • PCI-E Interface
  • TV Out/Video In yes/no
  • DirectX 10.1
  • DVI
  • 3-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

Graphics cards that cost more than £150 are still the best if you can afford them. But the price tag of the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro is stunning. We find it very hard to choose between this and the Sapphire version. The fact is, if you want great performance for just above £100, either the Asus ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro or the Sapphire will prove easily superior to anything else offered for less than £150.

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