Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot Heatsink Reviewccokeman - September 30, 2008
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The Sapphire HD4850 Dual Slot is a slightly different animal than the standard HD4850 from Sapphire. It maintains the same GPU (RV770) and amount of memory (512MB GDDR3 on a 256 bit bus), but is built on a Sapphire designed and built PCB, rather than using the reference design PCB. In addition to the non-reference PCB, there is the non-reference cooling solution to go with the board. There are no memory heatsinks used, but there is one additional heatsink at the front of the PCB. The clock speeds stay right at the factory specified 625MHz on the GPU core and 993MHz on the 512MB of memory. The card is slightly shorter than the standard PCB so this should allow some additional clearance in tight cases.
Getting the HD4850 connected to your display is as easy as making the correct connection to the video card. The HD4850 DS comes equipped with two Dual Link capable DVI ports, as well as the HDTV-out connection. Adapters are included to get you hooked up through several different connection types, including HDMI, RCA and composite. The back end of the card contains the 6 pin power connection, as well as several capacitors. Along the top edge of the card is the Corssfire X bridge connection. This allows you to hook two or more of these cards up to get substantial increase in performance. A Crossfire X capable motherboard is required for two or more cards to be used in this configuration.
The dual slot heatsink is the largest item on this card, save the actual board itself. The design is similar to that used on the stock Intel socket 775 heatsink. It has a copper slug inside of an aluminum fin array that uses a shrouded fan to direct air through the heatsink. This airflow blows directly down on the heatsink that covers the mosfets for the power system, as well as down on the memory modules. Will it be enough to keep the RV770 core and the memory cool enough for some heavy clock speeds?
Taking the heatsinks off of the board shows just how different the PCB is than the reference design. It's not just the bright teal blue color that makes it different - the mosfets for the power regulation circuit are moved towards the front of the PCB.
The GPU used on this model is the same used on the on the standard HD4850 from Sapphire. While the RV770 core is usually the same, many manufacturers will use a different brand of GDDR3 memory to meet the specifications of the card. Sapphire has used Qimonda GDDR3 rated at 1000MHz on this model.
All that's left is to get the card installed and start our testing.