Sapphire HD4870 Reviewajmatson - July 23, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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ATI and their partners have been strategically marketing the HD 4800 series graphics cards, which have been dominating the review scene lately. In fact, because of the power that the HD 4800 series produces, while maintaining a perfect price point, NVIDIA's partners were forced to cut the prices of their GTX 200 series cards to compete. The flagship of the HD 4800 series as of today, is the HD 4870 video card. We have reviewed two other HD 4870 cards, the PowerColor HD 4870 and the Visiontek HD 4870, in the past few weeks since they have been released. The HD 4870 video cards bring to the table an impressive 1.20 teraflops processing power, packed into an affordable graphics solution.
Today we are going to be taking a look at the Sapphire HD 4870 video card, which is based on the ATI reference design, using the stock Dual Slot cooling design, to keep the temperatures down. As we have seen in the last two HD 4870 reviews, the HD 4800 series cards are plagued with heat issues, which is mostly due to the fans not running at higher speeds as the temperatures rise. This issue is in no way the fault of the card manufacturers, but some have taken steps to allow users to manually control the fan speeds using software developed by the manufacturer. I am curious if Sapphire has looked into the issue to keep their card from heating up enough to cook eggs on it.
The packaging from Sapphire has always been both pleasing to look at and informative. On the cover they have the slogan "Prepare to Dominate" which gets me all excited and ready to game on this baby. They also include some of the features, as well as stickers showing some of the goodies that they bundled with the HD 4870, which we will take a look at later in the review. The back of the box shows some more of the specifications, as well as highlights from the video card. One thing more and more manufacturers are putting on the box as well are the system requirements. This is very helpful, because as technology gets more advanced, users can keep up with the information needed to see if they will be able to run the card using their current setup.
Opening the packaging leads to a tough cardboard box inside. Sapphire has done a very good job of protecting their card with the hard cardboard box and then surrounding the card with foam and anti-static wrapping. This will prevent any damage that might be caused when the card is in shipping to you or the store you purchase it from. Inside the box is the Sapphire HD 4870 card, a component video out dongle and S-Video dongle, a DVI to VGA adapter, a DVI to HDMI adapter, two 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapters, a CrossFire interconnect, a manual, the driver CD, a Ruby Rom Volume II goodie disk, a full version of 3DMark06, a CyberLink Power DVD 7 Disk, a CyberLink DVD Suite disk and a 2GB USB sampler Thumb Drive. Sapphire has done a great job with the bundle, giving the consumer a feeling that they get good value for money.
Now that we have everything out of the box, let's move over and take a look at the video card more closely.