This graphics card owns its market segment due to the power it offers, the benefits it reaps and at the price it sells at for what it offers.
The 3850 is the 3870s smaller brother but its still very mucha big brother to any previous generation of cards from both nvidia and ati as reviews show that this card beats the 1900xtx which was the most powerful card out ffrom the previous gen. The amazing thing is that this is a upper mid range card that sells cheaply and beats off a lot of more expensive cards from the previous gen that still sell on ebay today.
This card uses hardly any power compared to the previous gen card too, and it uses slightly less than its bigger brother the 3870. power usage at peak is 96w!
This plays all the lates games, and can be overclocked very well.
Go for the 512mb version if you plan to play crysis or any other dx10 game.
This also scales very well and can beat the gts ultra in the vast majority of games when paired with another 3850. It packes tones of power that unleashes when equipted with a twin thats for sure.
maybe the thing that holds back ati cards a bit is because they are shy?
Long thought to be the market of the conservative gamer, the affordable mainstream products, which use to suffer only adequate performance, now experiences a frame rate revival with the Sapphire HD 3850. Built upon the award-winning Radeon HD 3850 core, the Sapphire 3850 offers a comprehensive feature set that eclipses previous and current mainstream offerings. Unleash the enthusiast inside you with support for advanced technologies such as DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1. Pair two together for the ultimate gaming experience with CrossFire X support! Jam a Sapphire HD 3850 into your rig and still have some coin left over to buy that title you have been waiting for!