The balance of the 3D games were analyzed using Fraps 2.9.4. This utility allows you to monitor in-game performance of any 3D game, and I configured it to record the minimum, maximum, and average frame rate values over 180 second periods where game play was repeated as closely as possible in each game.
F.E.A.R. Extraction Point:
The next game tested was F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, which was run at 1280x1024 and with the settings on high. As the chart below reveals, all values were more than enough to allow smooth game play, but the HD3870 TOP did best the HD3850 TOP by 22% when it came to the average frame rate value.
Half Life 2: Episode 2:
Half Life 2: Episode 2 was tested while configured to run at 1280x1024 and high settings. Here we see that the minimum value on the HD3870 TOP was actually the lowest, but that it was still high enough to not be of much concern. The average and maximum frame rate values for the HD3870 TOP were just over 7% higher than the HD3850 TOP.
Team Fortress 2:
The last game to be analyzed is another one found in the Black Box with Half Life 2: Episode 2. Team Fortress 2 was tested at 1280x1024 with high settings, and using the Well map. Here we see that all three cards seem to hit a ceiling at 300 fps, but the HD3870 TOP shows off its muscle with higher values for the minimum and average frame rate values. The HD3870 TOP puts up a minimum value that is about 25% higher than the HD3850 TOP, and an average value that is about 7% higher.