Sapphire HD4870x2 Atomic Reviewccokeman - December 17, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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Every once in a while you see one of those products that makes you wonder. Well, two in a week is a pretty rare occurrence. The Sapphire HD4870x2 Atomic is the second of the two. Sapphire usually pulls something special together for its Atomic versions. Last year with the 3870, it was a special vapor chamber cooling system that worked extremely well when cooling was needed for those all night frag fests. Well, Sapphire has done it again with this iteration on the HD4870x2. This version does not use vapor chamber cooling, but rather a fully sealed water cooling system complete with pump/CPU block radiator and full coverage cooling block on the dual GPUs. To go along with this Limited Edition special cooling solution, Sapphire has upped the ante by pushing the clock speeds on the two RV770 cores to 800MHz and to 1000MHz (4000MHzeEffective) on the two gigabytes of GDDR5 memory that runs through a 2x256 bus.
Special cooling, special package, special delivery, I knew something had to be up when I saw the weight of the package. The Sapphire HD4870x2 Atomic looks to be a serious improvement to the standard reference design card. Let's see if the whole package has what it takes and whether it will stand up to some serious abuse as well as some serious performers to see if it indeed deserves its Limited Edition status.
You have to admit that the way the Atomic is shipped to the end user is something special. Then again, the contents are a bit on the special side as well and deserve a package of this caliber. The front of the aluminum case features the Atomic logo as well as a small mention on the bottom right corner that gives a hint as to what lies inside.
Anxious to see what was inside, I popped open the lid and was greeted with a foam lined box that contained a bit more than I was anticipating. The Atomic Card comes as a preassembled water cooled system that is ready to install. Under all of the foam that protects the contents is the box that contains the accessory box. If this package is like any of the others from Sapphire, it will be stacked.
The bundle of accessories that Sapphire has included will allow you to both get the card powered up and connected to just about any display device you may have. Not only do you get the basics such as power cables and the DVI to VGA adapter, there are the DVI to HDMI adapter, an HDMI cable, Crossfire bridge connector, plenty of software titles and even a plush Sapphire badge for your case. To get the CPU block installed you will need to use the supplied adapters. Currently socket 775 and AM2 are covered. I inquired about an adapter for the new Core I7 socket 1366 and found that they are currently not available. As an added bonus, Sapphire includes not one but two 2GB thumb drives and a full version of 3DMark Vantage.
Now let's get better acquainted with the Atomic!