SAPPHIRE HD 7750 ULTIMATE Reviewtacohunter52 - March 19, 2012
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Once you've removed the card from its antistatic bag, the first thing you'll notice, it's actually hard not to, is the giant cooler. This massive cooler utilizes four heatpipes, each of which transfers heat through four different, but equally massive, finned sections of aluminum. The cooler is mounted to the card by the four standard tension screws. As far as PCB color goes, Sapphire decided to go with a nice light blue, a very familiar color scheme. The cooler makes it fairly hard to see the rest of the HD 7750 ULTIMATE, however, there is one more thing I'd like to mention. A warning sticker is located directly on top of the cooler. It states that you should not touch the cooler after the card is in, or has recently been in operation. The reason being that it will be extremely hot! I'd expect this to be common sense and hopefully this is not an indication of the temperatures we can expect to see!
Most people looking to purchase the Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate will probably not be running a three monitor Eyefinity setup. However, if they so wanted to, they would be able to do so by using the card's HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort connectors. With that said, I did notice flickering through the card's DisplayPort and included cable. However, using a different cable did eliminate this problem. So, I'm hoping that this experience was limited to the cable I received, as there isn't much point in using a cable that will cause problems. As with other HD 7750s, the HD 7750 ULTIMATE will draw all of its power from the PCIe X 16 slot. This is also what it will use to transfer data if you wanted to crossfire it with another HD 7750. In other words, you won't find a crossfire connector on this card.
To more closely examine the card's passive cooler, we'll have to remove it from the HD 7750 ULTIMATE. This is easily done by removing the four screws that hold it in place. Once removed, we can see that the cooler has a copper base, which will make direct contact with the Cape Verde core. Four heatpipes make contact with the opposite side of the copper base, which should hopefully wick heat away to four different sections of aluminum fins. Each section of the fins appear to be the same size, with the top sections bent around the back of the cooler, in order to save space. As with all passive coolers, I'm a little concerned as to how well it will actually cool the card. However, if it does not do a good job, the spacing of the finned sections will allow you to easily mod a fan to the cooler.
Last but not least it's time to take a look at the naked Sapphire HD 7750 ULTIMATE. The card's 1GB of GDDR5 memory is made up of four memory modules. Each pair of these modules are cooled by a black heat spreader. The heat spreaders were stuck on very securely, for this reason, I did not remove them. Located directly in the center of the memory modules is the 28nm Cape Verde core. It comes stock clocked at 800MHz, whereas the memory is pushing a clock of 1125MHz. However, we will be bumping up the clock speeds a bit in order to run our overclocked tests. I for one am fairly interested to see what a passively cooled card can do!
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's run some benchmarks!