Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot Heatsink Reviewccokeman - September 30, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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It's time to buy that shiny new addition to your gaming rig to replace the well-worn video card that just can't keep up with the latest video games. You've been eyeing the ATI HD4850's and the performance looks just right for the dollars available in your shrinking bank account. There's just one thing that keeps bothering you - the temperature problems that you have been reading about on this series of cards. Sure there are utilities that can adjust the fan speed manually (finally), but you want something better. Actually, you need something better to cool the card but there is that lack of the green to get that something additional - an aftermarket VGA cooler.
Well there bucko, Sapphire has the solution to to the temperature problem for you. They now offer the Dual Slot cooling version of their HD4850. This video card is for all intents and purposes, a stock clocked ATI HD4850, but with a cooling solution that takes up two PCI slots to manage the heat problem on the HD4850 series. Usually, cards with additional non-stock cooling solutions cost more, right? Put that concern to rest. Currently the Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot card sells for $2 less than the stock cooled card at a popular e-tailer. So now there's nothing there to hold you back. With the additonal cooling, there should also come an overclocking increase over the stock card based on just temperatures alone. Let's see if this holds true with the Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot card.
The packaging from Sapphire usually contains a wealth of information for the consumer to digest. This one is no different. Of course, there is Ruby on the front panel, a listing of some of the features, as well as some of the specifications. Highlighted is the inclusion of the bundled software that includes Futuremark's latest benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, as well as a full suite of software from Cyberlink and the Ruby Rom game disk. The back panel lists the technologies that the HD4850 employs to give that stunning picture and performance, as well as a listing of what's in the box. Again, Ruby makes an appearance, but this time she's equipped for battle.
Inside the package there is a non-descript brown cardboard box. Not that it really matters since it's the outside that grabs you and pulls you in. Once inside you can see that the box has a foam sheet that sits over the top of the card for protection. The card is enclosed in an anti-static bubble wrap bag to further protect the HD4850 D.S.. Under the foam, there is a wealth of software and adapters to make connecting to the display of your choosing, a no-fuss affair.
The bundle included with this card is pretty substantial. There is the software, the driver disk, Ruby Rom, Futuremark 3DMark Vantage and a suite of software from Cyberlink. Then there is the hardware part of the bundle that includes a 4pin Molex to 6 pin PCIe power adapter, an HDTV dongle, an RCA to S-Video adapter, DVI to D-SUB adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter and last but not least, the Corssfire bridge connecter to allow you to run this card in a Crossfire X configuration.
Now let's get a look at the Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot card.