Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition ReviewGeekspeak411 - October 17, 2011
Category: Video Cards
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AMD's HD 6000 series cards are nothing new to the market, passing through the pages of OCC since early this year. As the year has gone by, there have been small variations made by each vendor in an attempt to stand out in the heavily crowded market with small variations in price tagged on with each revision. This late after the series release, it is expected that all the supply/quality quirks have been worked out, allowing vendors to produce top-shelf revisions that introduce new features on top of highly binned chips, leading to the new best-in-class card until the next series release. Such tweaks can mean slightly less power consumption, better heatsinks offering lower temperatures, voltage modding, and factory warrantied overclocks.
With the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition Graphics Card, the ante is upped through a dual-fan cooler, a decent factory overclock over reference speeds, and an included copy of DiRT 3 to top it all off. Prices in the market are cutthroat with so much direct competition, but Sapphire brings this card with all its additional features at around $210, which is around $60 more than the cheapest cards available. Of course, for that money, 20MHz is added, the dual-fan cooler is fastened on, and you're getting a video game out of the deal, so I would say the price is decently competitive. Talk is talk though, let's take a look at what that $210 will actually get you.
The retail box for the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition is very sleek. The box takes on an all-black color scheme accented only by blue fractals radiating from the DiRT rally car exploding from the center left of the packaging. To the right, Radeon HD 6870 is proudly emblazoned, surrounded by logos accounting for the card's Overclock Edition status, the DiRT 3 Game Code included, the 1GB of on-board GDDR5, and the bundled HDMI cable. Populating the edges are the Sapphire logo in the top left, the "Get Radeon in your system" in the top right, and AMD logos in the bottom, to the left of basic product features. On the rear of the packaging, Sapphire went with the single language design cue and offers very energetic introductions to both the graphics card and the bundled video game, as well as listing key features of the card with descriptive snippets and logos for each. Along the bottom, Sapphire proudly touts the company's achievement of over 2500 awards received since 2002 with a handful of award logos presented, including OCC's own logo in the top row, second from the left. Overall, I am very happy with the packaging displayed here — it is very clean and polished, not gaudy like some.
Inside, a standard brown packing box opens up to a moulded paper carton for the card and an accessory tray below that keeps all the bundled content together. Accessories include a driver disc, a case sticker, a card containing the DiRT 3 game code, a Sapphire Gold Club registration card, a Quick Installation Guide, and a bevy of adapters. The card includes two Molex to PCI-E 6-pin power adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter for those poor souls still upgrading their graphics card and outputting to a VGA device, a CrossFire link cable, and two beautiful additions I have not seen before: an HDMI cable and a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter. Overall I am very satisfied with the accessory bundle provided here. It is right on par with the expectations of this price range.
On the next page, I will take a look at the graphics card itself!