Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X 2GB ReviewBluePanda - June 25, 2012
Category: Video Cards
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Sapphire Technology just keeps coming up with something new. Grown popular for the Vapor-X line, Sapphire has other video card companies grinding away to keep up. Some of you have heard of Sapphire FleX and may have a 6000 series card with its benefits. However, if you are like me, you might be more familiar with the frustrations of having three DVI monitors and an expensive active DisplayPort adapter to get Eyefinity going. Some of you might even be as unlucky as me to realize this after your new monitors have arrived and you’re stuck paying the overnight shipping to fulfill your desperate need to use the new monitors.
Either way you get the point; it's frustrating not being able to just plug into the two DVI ports on the card when there are two sitting there asking to be plugged in to. A little HDMI to DVI adapter is cheap, and aren’t hard to come by even from your local computer hardware store. However, those darn active DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort adapters, those are another story I won’t get started on. Sapphire FleX saves the waste and finally allows you to utilize both DVI ports at the same time as the HDMI port. No need to overnight an active adapter for your new card – just plug in and play. If you have a monitor, a cable, and the right adapter to plug it into the card, you can use it.
Enough about the Sapphire FleX features; today we’ll be taking a look at the Sapphire HD 7870 FleX. Not only does it have the FleX features it is also bringing to the table Sapphire's Dual-X cooling as well. The Sapphire HD 7870 also has the Dual BIOS switch that allows a quick change from the stock 1000MHz core clock speed to a pre-overclocked 1050MHz. With 2GB of onboard memory, this card is ready to get its game on. Let’s take a closer look and see how it performs.
The box is a bit larger than the original Sapphire 7870 box, so perhaps there is a little more inside with the new FleX edition; we shall see. The front of the box of course features AMD's Ruby; this time she's back in minimal casual army fatigues. With a gun over her shoulder and a helmet in disguise, she plays to the appeal of the typical male gamer – sorry guys she isn't real. We outlier female enthusiast will just have to wait…but I’m not counting on ever seeing a male model on a video card in my life time.
A big FleX sticker takes up the upper right corner of the box reminding you the power inside. I'm really looking forward to not having to use an active adapter for a change. It also reminds you that Eyefinity doesn't have to stop at three monitors – this card alone supports up to four monitors at resolutions up to 4096x2160 through DisplayPort, 4096x3112 through HDMI, and 2560x1600 through DVI. Turning the box over and you get the backside of Ruby as well. There is also the long list of features and display of awards Sapphire has acquired over the years, including one of our own OCC Awards.
The sides of the box nicely read "SAPPHIRE HD 7870" so when the box ends up in your closet, you can easily locate it again when the time comes to trade up or sell off. To me this is just a nice addition to keeping my closet clean and organized. For you, I'm guessing you don’t care too much about the box and as soon as you get your card it will likely find its way to the dump; however, there’s a lot of information on the outside of the box including some specifications and features (which can be found on the Specs and Features page) to help you decide on a card while shopping locally rather than on the internet. It even has a "Spec. Requirement" list to see if your rig can even handle this raw power.
Opening up the box, we find the usual box inside a box. This one is the typical recycled brown cardboard just calling you to open it up. When you do you’ll find a snuggly packed card with a protecting bubble wrap static bag. The usual stop sticker reminds you to plug the video card into your PSU before turning it on (like you needed to be reminded). Beneath the formed cardboard is yet another small box shaped to fit into the bottom of the box. Inside of this is the little goodies we all love unpacking. The Sapphire HD 7870 comes with a HDMI to DVI adapter, two molex to 6 pin adapters, and a DVI to VGA adapter. A six foot HDMI cable is even included in case you haven’t tried out that HDMI port on your monitor – no need to run to the store, as it’s ready to go right out of the box. A driver CD is included with the shiny Sapphire sticker (woo another fridge sticker) and even a Crossfire bridge is tossed in; maybe they are hinting that you need a second one for MOAR FUN!