Sapphire HD4850X2 Reviewccokeman - November 3, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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The introduction of the HD4870x2 laid down the gauntlet in the video card wars. The 4870x2 is the fastest desktop single PCI-E slot solution on the planet. In benchmarks it really is at the top of the food chain. When you make a statement like that how do you top it? Simple, you take the little brother HD4850 and put two of them together on one PCB and wala, you have the HD4850x2. What this effectively does is creates another avenue for the end user that does not have the available expansion slots to accommodate a multi GPU solution any other way, For the enthusiast or gamer it offers a path to Crossfire X with four GPUs that unless you are running a Spider Platform system from AMD this option is unavailable unless you spend the dollars for the big dog HD4870x2s. Not anymore.
Sapphire has just let the HD4850x2 loose on the world. As well as its big brother, scales expectations are high with this offering. Featuring two RV770 GPUs at a clock speed of 625MHz and twice the amount of 1024MB of GDDR3 memory running at 993MHz through a 2x256-bit bus the card should deliver some serious numbers. After seeing the performance of the various HD4850s and the non reference solutions from several manufacturers I can't wait to see how well this card performs
The front panel of the retail package for the Sapphire HD 4850X2 shows "Ruby" armed with a pair of swords. Highlights include the list of software that comes with the HD 4850X2, included are Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage, two pieces of software from CyberLink, and the Ruby ROM that includes "Games and More." Other highlights include notifications about the amount of frame buffer, 2GB of GDDR3, support for four displays and the fact that this card is Crossfire X capable. The rear panel goes into greater depth on the features and product hightlights of the Sapphire HD4850X2.
Inside the well done exterior packaging is the container that holds this beast of a card. Rather than the two pieces of open cell foam usually used is a foam shell that securely holds the video card in place. Under this foam structure is the box that contains the rather large bundle of accessories for the Sapphire HD 4870X2. It seems as of late that Sapphire is bringing a little more value to the table with the bundles it has been including. This bundle looks quite similar to the one included with the Sapphire HD 4850 Toxic
The bundle includes software from CyberLink, Futuremark, the Ruby ROM, and driver disc. Connectivity comes in the form of DVI to HDMI and DVI to D-sub adapters, an HD to RCA video out, and an HD to component dongle. A CrossFire bridge connection is included, in case you want to run two of these monsters in a CrossFireX configuration. Four GPU cores would be sick! If your power supply does not have the required 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power connections, have no fear - Sapphire has included adapters just in case. Although it is not the optimal solution, it will get the card up and running.
Now that everything has been carefully removed from the packaging, let's take a better look at the little brother of the HD4870X2 and see just what it is capable of.