Diamond Multimedia is a new name here at Legit Reviews, but they have been around for a long time. Diamond has been trying to get the attention of gamers for some time now, but gamers are a tough group to get the attention of. Diamond released ATI Radeon HD 3870 and Radeon HD 3850 graphics cards back in November when they originally came out, but they were based off the ATI reference design and were the same as everyone else’s. Diamond went back to the drawing board and came up with an Radeon HD 3850 that would be unique to them and be directed at overclockers and enthusiasts.
What Diamond came up with was a Radeon HD 3850 512MB dual slot card! They doubled the on-board GDDR3 memory from 256MB to 512MB, which should significantly help frame buffer performance in gaming, but that isn’t all they did. They also tossed the old single slot cooler and went with a larger and improved cooling system that lowered temperatures across the board. To top it all off they designed their own PCB! As you can see, Diamond went back to the drawing board and came up with a video card that should impress most of the ATI fans out there. It is interesting to note though that Diamond left the clock speeds at default settings even though they call the card overclocked (actually they spelled that wrong also, and put overcloaked) on their website. The clock speeds are default with the core running 668MHz and the memory clock at 828MHz. Diamond should say that the card is overclockable and not overclocked!
When it comes to power supply requirements keep in mind that you will need a 450 Watt or greater power supply with 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express power connector as that is the recommended requirements for a single card system. If you want to run CrossFire with two of these cards, then a 550 Watt power supply with two 6-pin connectors is needed. When CrossFireX drivers come out and four cards can be linked together a power supply larger than 550 Watts will be needed. The picture above shows the single 6-pin PCI Express power connector that is located at the edge of the board.
The custom cooling solution on the Diamond Radeon HD 3850 512MB Ruby Edition graphics card may not look pretty, but it is quiet and beefy. With the four screws that hold the fan shroud and cover on removed you can get a better look at what they have done. The DC brushless fan is made by Y.S. Tech and has the part number FS128015ML.
Taking a closer look at the heat sink, you can see just how big it is and why the card takes up two slots versus just one on the reference card. None of the Samsung K4J52324QE-BJ1A GDDR3 memory IC’s are directly attached to the heat sink, but the air from the Y.S. Tech fan does blow over them thanks to the heat sink design. The Samsung IC’s have a density of 512M bit and are rated at 1.0ns (1000MHz), so they should be decent overclockers for those that want to tweak voltages.