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PowerColor AG3850 512MD3 Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-Bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X HDCP Ready Video Card

  • 320 Stream Processors
  • 512MB 256-Bit GDDR3
  • AGP 4X/8X
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Learn more about the PowerColor AG3850 512MD3

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years


Customer Reviews of the PowerColor AG3850 512MD3

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  • Alan E.
  • 10/29/2009 12:54:13 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing, now I know what needs to be done

Pros: Excellent performer - the best AGP card since the 6800 GT chipset in my experience. Everything looks amazing, and the card is a rocket.

Great price too!

Cons: Catalyst tends to load rather slowly. I had no other issues than the installation issues that I was initially having. Not a problem anymore now that I have the understanding of what it takes to make this card work!

Other Thoughts: Prepare ahead of time for what is required. You will need to get the appropriate driver from the AMD website for this to work correctly (yes there are fixes), and just make sure that your memory path/aperture is set correctly to 256 bit in BIOS or performance will suffer.

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  • Alan E.
  • 10/9/2009 8:06:40 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsStill On The Fence

Pros: Great performance specs, decent cost (as always from Newegg).

Cons: Even after 30 years in high tech - this one requires a lot of intense thought - much confusion on which version of the driver is most appropriate. Still not 100%, as it seems to have questionable performance so far (not tweaked to its best).

Other Thoughts: The 6800GT that it replaced seems to have had better performance with some applications and games

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  • Joel R.
  • 9/25/2009 5:36:20 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsBEWARE

Pros: Fancy looking

Cons: so far I have had 2 of these cards diagnosed as DEFECTIVE

Other Thoughts: Avoid POWERCOLOR at any price. The few people who get these cards to work have had to do a tremendous amount of unnecessary work adapting BIOS or OS. Customer support is slow if at all, providing no concise answers. They charge customer for RMA. Expect 6-8 week turnaround for RMA. I have yet to receive one of these cards that work. 3.06 P4HT 1066/1024 Silencer 610W Absolutely Unacceptable. Never again.

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  • Edward S.
  • 9/22/2009 5:45:15 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsMany problems

Pros: If you get it working, it's a decent card.

Cons: Like many other people, I had problems with this card. Windows freezes shortly after loading the driver. I was able to at least fix that by disabling AGP fast writes. I was unable to get the card to work in Linux; it immediately freezes the system whenever the driver loads.

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  • Thomas T.
  • 9/17/2009 9:26:07 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsFastest AGP card ever made

Pros: Exstends your agp systems life and with it you can play just about any game out at very high quality.

Cons: none

Other Thoughts: Make sure you use the agp 3000 series patch drivers directly from ATI's web site . This will help you avoid any and all driver issues.

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  • Brent U.
  • 9/8/2009 1:41:28 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsGraphics Turbo for AGP!!!

Pros: Excellent frame rates in newer games like Crysis, L4D, COD W@W, and GRID. 2-D gaming performance is top notch. Nice Custom Cooler. Runs cool. Definite improvement in gaming over a Geforce 7800gs.

Cons: FINDING the drivers can be a pain. I have always gotten the latest hotfix drivers from ATI/AMD and have had no problems installing/using them. Had to upgrade my PSU to use the card. CCC. Screen flashes when windows first starts up (just annoying really, but I have to wait for it to flash before I do anything or it resets to the desktop like I haven't done anything yet).

Other Thoughts: This was the best AGP card out when I bought it. I think that the AGP bus has a hard time feeding enough information to this card. I do believe that a 3650 would perform very similarly to this on an AGP bus. My system: P4 @ 3.2Ghz, 2GB DDR400 RAM, Radeon 3850, 160GB HDD @ 7200rpm, XP Pro.

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  • John L.
  • 9/7/2009 12:07:12 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggsProblems right out of the box

Pros: Potential lifeline to an old 939 system
Attractive reported specs & benchmarks

Cons: Omega and new ATI drivers don't work with this card.
Card overheats within 1 minute of 3D game or benchmark.
"Starting May 1, 2009, RMA processing fee of $12 applies after 90 days of purchase."

Other Thoughts: I bought this card on impulse at a local shop. It was a "last one" item. Published specs and benchmarks are very attractive as a lifeline for an old 939 system. My system had previously been running flawlessly with an X850 XT card. 3DMark05 Graphics score = 4600.
Replaced that with this 3850. The latest ATI Radeon driver reported "no compatible device" error. The most recent Omega driver 4.8.442 did not report error, but upon reboot, no driver was installed. The ATI 8.5 driver included in the PowerColor driver CD did work.
Less than 1 minute into 3DMark05 graphics module, buzzer beeps due to overheating. Same thing on two subsequent attempts. Fan on the card seems to be running fine. Benchmark was able to finish, giving score of 6600. Using the ATI control panel, selecting "auto tune" or any attempt to up the processor or memory speed results in overheating and buzzer beeps. The reported processor speed, 300MHZ, is likely wrong, because of the 3DMark 05 score.

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  • Sean K.
  • 7/18/2009 12:11:41 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggsIt's finally working!!!!

Pros: This is an amazingly fast AGP card! It even supports old 4x AGP slots. This card can definitely add new life to an old PC as long as your CPU, RAM, and PSU are up to the task. Even though my PC is now severely CPU bound and also bottlenecked by it's 4X AGP slot this card was still a good upgrade (for me). I can now smoothly play Oblivion and other old games using Ultra High settings at 1600x1200. Specs: 2.4ghz P4 Northwood, 533fsb, Abit TH7ii-Raid MB, 1 Gig RDRAM, 450W PSU, and running WinXP SP3. (Note: I plan to put this card into something faster down the road.)

Cons: It took tons of tinkering, installing, and reinstalling to get this card running right. I almost threw it away! In my opinion, these newer AGP ATI cards are just plain picky with older hardware.

Other Thoughts: I tried drivers 7.11 to 9.6. Most gave me working 3D acceleration, but broken or laggy 2D. Some would cause 100% CPU usage spikes every few seconds. The best I found was Hotfix Driver 9.2 which gave me good 3D, but I still couldn't drag an icon on my desktop without a five second delay! Fed up, I pulled the card and bought an ATI X1650 Pro card from Powercolor's main competitor. Guess what? Same exact problems! I would say it was my MB except I tested several older ATI and Nvidia cards and they all work fine.

In the end (by dumb luck) I got the card working by changing my “AGPCLK/CPUCLK” ratio in BIOS from "fixed" (which locked my AGP clock at 66MHz) to "2/4 ratio" (which also ran the AGP clock at 66MHz). I know! This makes no sense!!! But, now both new ATI cards work flawlessly. I can repeat the results all day long. So, if you're having problems try different (yet basically appropriate) AGP clock speeds. Maybe, alter your CPU and FSB speed a bit. Good luck!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael A.
  • 7/8/2009 10:20:30 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsGreat video card, as long as you know what it needs

Pros: Insanely fast for an AGP card (and don't leave comments about how much faster PCI-E cards are for a fraction of the cost!!!) Finally a card where chances are your aging 939 CPU is holding back your video card, rather than vice versa:). Allows older PC's to keep up with the recent onslaught of shader 3 and 4 required games. Far Cry 2 looks sick on this card!!!!!

Cons: It does not allow me to use the RAID function on my motherboard anymore, for some reason or another. You need to make sure that you go online to some forums before you buy this and check that your chipset does not have known issues with this card. I found out after the fact that my VIA K8T800 chipset has some problems with Powercolor's version of the HD3850. Can be pretty simple fixes, but just check it out so you know what you could possibly be dealing with.

Other Thoughts: Overall I recommend this card if you are like me and don't have $750-$1000 to at least build a respectable gaming machine, but know that you have some wiggle room to upgrade what you have. I am now able to play Far Cry 2 at medium settings with some very good FPS, and it is very playable at high settings. All I need now is a good CPU fan so I can overclock my x2 3800+, and gain even more months out of my system:)

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  • Joseph W.
  • 7/1/2009 8:27:33 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWaste of $$

Pros: When it wasn't locking up my PC it worked great.

Cons: Constant lockups on my PC. I tried everything from various different drivers (agp hotfix included) to updating my BIOS. No luck! My PC would just randomly freeze up on me, sometimes it would be within 5 minutes after booting up, sometimes an hour or 2. I had plenty of juice running to the card, and plenty of airflow as well. So it wasn't a matter of underpowered/overheating. I contacted PowerCooler for assistance twice. The 1st time I was told someone from Tech support would call me back as they were at lunch. And after 2 days of not hearing back, I called again. And it was a total waste of time, as the rep I spoke with had no clue at all on how to help. Card has been RMA'd, and I picked up the Sapphire version, which works flawlessly!!

Other Thoughts: I know AGP is a dying breed, but I can't afford to upgrade my whole system at this time. So if you got AGP, and want to squeeze the most out of your system.....STAY AWAY from the PowerCooler card!!! Do yourself a favor and get the Sapphire instead.

Manufacturer Response:

It's quite possible that the card you received could have been bad. AGP cards do typically run into more compatibility problems than PCI-E cards, but BIOS tweaks and updates that usually rectify those types of issues. If a replacement card fixed your problem then I'd say it might be safe to assume that your first card was most likely defective. Either way, if you require further assistance, feel free to contact me at usa@powercolor.com and I'd be happy to help you.

-Hugo

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