Sapphire HD4870x2 Atomic Reviewccokeman - December 17, 2008
» Discuss this article (12)
The Sapphire Atomic HD4870x2 is not what you usually see in a high performance video card. This is a different animal. It still boasts all of the HD4870x2 features such a 1600 stream processors, two gigabytes of GDDR5 memory on a 2 x 256 bit bus, HDMI over DVI, second gen UVD and more. It is also equipped with a single slot cooling solution that incorporates a water pump/CPU block, single 120mm radiator and fan to exhaust the heat generated by the CPU and GPUs. A pretty neat package in and of itself. No more hair drier in the case to keep you awake at night. The front view gives you a glimpse of the thin single slot cooling with the back side being the familiar memory heatsink. The factory sealed cooling solution has factory sealed tube ends that are meant to last the life of the card with a 50,000 hour MTBF that should be quite a while. The Atomic HD4870x2 sports an 800MHz clock speed on each of the GPU cores with a 1000MHz clock on the memory, both of these clock speeds are at or above the limits reached on the reference cooled card from Sapphire I looked at in August.
The connections available for use include two Dual Link DVI and an HDTV output. An HDMI signal can be sent out through the DVI port with the appropriate adapter which is included as well as the three meter long HDMI cable. The back end of the Atomic is a little sparse but the power circuits are under the water block. 2560x1600 is the maximum resoluion that can be outputted from the DVI and 1024x768 on the HDTV out.
The Atomic is a CrossfireX capable video card. It only has one bridge connection that will allow one more HD4870x2 to be connected to give you the power of four GPUs. Speaking of power, you will want to make sure yours has enough juice to run the Atomic system. The Atomic, much like the standard X2, requires a 6-pin and an 8-pin power connection to make sure you are able to pull the most from this video card.
The cooling solution comes off the Atomic version in much the same way as the reference cooler. Instead of two copper blocks and loud fan, you have a single block that makes contact with all of the heat generating components on the PCB, including the GPUs, the PLXtechnology bridge chip, memory, and power regulation components. Once stripped down, you are left with the just the block and memory cooling plate that fits on the back of the PCB.
The rest of the cooling system includes the CPU block/pump, the radiator and fan and the tubing that is already permanently attached to the blocks and radiator. The system is prefilled and checked at the factory and should not require any fillups along the way. The fan lights up with a blue LEDs and is rated to push up to 60 CFM. Thermal paste is preapplied to the block so you won't have to worry about not having any when it comes time to do the install.
The Sapphire HD4870x2 Atomic features two 55nm RV770 GPU cores and a PCI Express bridge chip. The PLX Technologies bridge chip is model PEX8647. This chip is a second generation PCI-E Gen2, 5.0GT/s 48-lane, 3-port PCI-E switch that supports Dual Cast and Read Pacing. This model is specifically designed with high end graphics solutions in mind. The HD 4870X2 Atomic uses GDDR5 memory from Hynix, the modules used are listed as H5GQ1H24MJR TOC, and are rated for 4.0GB/sec.