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Sapphire HD4850X2 Review

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The Sapphire HD4850x2 does just what it is supposed to do. Offer performance that is a shade less than that delivered by the baddest card out right now (for the time being). During the gaming tests the little X2 was consistently keeping up with the 4870x2. Of course, some games don't seem to scale with Crossfire but that is a whole other can of worms. When manually controlled, the two fan cooling solution kept the 4850x2 below the 70 degrees Celsius mark. Keeping temperatures below this level seemed to help with the ability to overclock the card, any higher and the card would heat up and not run much over the stock clock speeds. Manual control is required as the driver released with this card did not do an effective job in keeping the card cool at anything above the stock clock speeds. There is however, a price to pay for running this card with the fans manually controlled. This penalty is noise, and lots of it. Anything above 30 to 35% was just obnoxiously loud and reminded me of why I went and bought aftermarket cooling solutions for my 1900XTs. If you have ever heard a Vantec Tornado close to your ears, this is the sound that gets old after just fifteen minutes. If you game with headphones on then it really won't present an issue for you. Initial release drivers have a weak spot with ATI on its product launches. I thought this was an issue that was fixed with the HD4870x2 but the initial driver has a few little glitches that should be addressed on the next go around from the Catalyst crew.

Viewing your HD content has never been easier with the addition of support for four different monitors at one time. The last card I have seen to feature four DVI outputs was the Asus EAH3870X2. If you have plans on using this card with an HDMI output you can with the supplied DVI to HDMI dongle. To further expand on the HD aspect of this card, Sapphire has included an accessory pack that includes several suites of software from Cyberlink as well as a licensed copy of the latest benchmark from Futuremark. With pricing suggested in the $350 range, this card is right around the price of two separate HD4850 cards. If the Big Dog HD4870x2 is a little rich for your blood, then the Sapphire HD4850x2 will fit both the price and performance requirements for the vast majority of the public. The performance was a surprise.



  • Cooling solution works
  • Excellent performance
  • Four monitor support 
  • HDMI support
  • Gaming performance
  • Pricing
  • Bundled accessories


  • Loud cooling solution
  • Driver issues

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