Sapphire HD 7770 Vapor-X OC Edition ReviewBluePanda - May 16, 2012
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Okay, we finally get a look at the card itself without the bubble packing, after you drug yourself through the first page – I'm sure you are happy. A top down look shows the dual Vapor-X fans ready to provide extreme cooling. The centers of the fans have a huge V just to remind you what you’ve got. "SAPPHIRE HD 7770" is seen in the lower right corner as the blue PCB peeks in from the bottom edge. It looks to be a genuine Sapphire classic in design. The back of the card shows the blue/turquoise color of the PCB with all the traces and surface mount resistors and capacitors. It's a lot to think about when you think how these somewhat simple in appearance "things" really work – it's definitely not simple. However, it is simple enough to use – it's ready to go in your computer now. Let's get a full look at the card to see what else it has to offer before we test it out.
Taking a full profile lineup of the card you can see every side of it up close. The outer plastic shroud for the fans follows a nice line with the heat pipes on the first side of the card shown. You can see the P/N numbers and holographic Sapphire logo stickers on the side as well. A few capacitors and added mini heat sinks can be seen beneath from this angle as well. Around to the other side you can see with the fans up (which in most cases would be pointed down) the Sapphire logo is upside down. From this angle you can see the side of the 6-pin connector as well as a fan connector peeking out from above. There's not too much to show here, just another picture to get you familiar with the card. The two ends of the card show off the 6-pin connector and the display ports respectively. You can see the two DVI ports, as well as the HDMI and DisplayPort connections. It's nothing fancy to look at but is very important when you are considering what cables you might need to keep your system running when you upgrade to this card.
It is an elegant looking card with the heat pipes curving away from the center of the body. You can see the Crossfire finger on the side with the Sapphire logo right side up. It allows you to run it with another card of your liking – perhaps another 7770?
Overall in appearance it's a pretty standard Sapphire Vapor-X card. It has the same looks as the past Vapor-X cards in the last five years. This one happens to be a member of the dual fan setup, which I like a lot. I ran a 4850 Vapor-X from Sapphire for a long time (part of the single fan family) – just loved the look of the card. It's a consistent look, something that gives you a feeling that you just know you can count on supplying you with years of reliability and game play.
So now we're finally to pulling the brand new card apart. This part always makes me shudder a bit, but you all want to see what makes this card tick don't you? The cooler is attached to the card with four spring-loaded screws. A quick spin of the screwdriver and the heat sink assembly nearly falls right off the card. The 28nm GPU, after being cleaned off, is quite tiny! No wonder these cards sell for such a handsome price. To be honest I was expecting a bit more to be seen when looking at the bottom of the heat sink but perhaps the simplicity of this cooler is what makes it so good? You can see the Vapor-X phase chamber near the center of the heat sink and the fingers that extend off of the edge of the chamber to cool the four Elpida RAM chips. Two large heat pipes jut out the side of the cooler to distribute the heat to the aluminum heat sink cooled by dual fans. This card certainly looks like it means business!