Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Toxic 2GB Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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Video cards have come a long way over the past couple years. Their ever increasing performance has to meet the needs of the everyone from the work station user to the high end gamer. This card from Sapphire is aimed squarely at the latter segment of the market. As games become more graphically demanding and with people moving to ever larger resolutions, you need to have the hardware that can handle the load. The HD 5870 is a proven performer in its own right as shown in countless reviews and feedback in forums across the web. With this kind of buzz the only thing left to do is improve upon a proven commodity. This is something Sapphire does and does quite well as seen in the past with their Atomic, Vapor-X and Toxic versions of some of ATIs best products.
For the Sapphire Toxic HD 5870 2GB card, Sapphire has bumped up the clock speeds on the Cypress core and increased the amount of frame buffer memory to 2GB (from the standard 1GB), in addition to a slight bump in clock speed to 1225Mhz. Instead of using the reference cooling solution, Sapphire has equipped this Toxic Edition overclocked card with its proprietary Vapor-X cooling to keep the thermals in check. All this combines to give the consumer another option for increased performance. Lets face it, not everyone likes to tinker with the workings of a video card for more performance, these people just to want to pop in the video card and start fraggin'. Lets see how the Toxic Edition HD 5870 2GB card performs. From the specs alone it looks as though it may jump up a little closer to Nvidias latest, the GTX 480.
The Toxic HD 5870 2GB card from Sapphire comes in retail packaging that steps away from the use of "Ruby" (ATI's heroine) with the use of a sinister figure under a shroud. The front panel of the packaging shows that this card is equipped with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and is a factory overclocked video card. Some of the Toxic HD 5870 2GB's features are listed on the front panel and include the comparable compute power, Eyefinity and CrossfireX support, the fact that the card features native HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity and the inclusion of software from Arcsoft. The rear panel goes into more detail on more features of the card including the Vapor-X cooling, Black Diamond chokes, Advanced GDDR5 memory and ATI stream technology. On the bottom left you have a long list of awards Sapphires products have earned over the years showing that their products are well received and present a value to the consumer.
Slipping off the outer sleeve, you are left with a cardboard box that houses the Toxic Edition HD 5870. The paper goods that Sapphire uses for packaging are 100% recyclable, this is something that helps the environment as well as its CRS (Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability) goals. The card is housed in a formed cardboard housing, with a bit of closed cell foam to keep the card in place in its bubble wrapped bag. Under the card is a box that contains the accessory bundle.
Sapphires video cards always come with everything you need to use the full capabilities of the card. This bundle includes the instruction manual, driver disk, Arcsoft software disk, DVI to D-sub connection, CrossfireX bridge connector and a pair of power adapters to hook up to the 6 and 8 pin PCIe power connections. Pretty much everything you need to get started.
With the packaging out of the way, lets dig a little deeper into the card itself to see what makes it tick.