Sapphire HD 4870 2GB Vapor X Series Reviewccokeman - March 24, 2009
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To install the drivers for the Sapphire HD 4870 Vapor-X Edition, first pop the driver disc into your drive and the Sapphire installation GUI will auto-start. The menu has three options that you can choose from - the first option is to install the Catalyst Control Center and drivers by clicking the ATI Easy Install. The drivers used in this review are Catalyst 9.3. The options available with the installation GUI include a link to the online manual in several different languages as well as a link to download the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader.
When you click the ATI Easy Install option, the Catalyst Control Center installation will begin. This process installs all the necessary drivers needed to make the Sapphire HD 4870 Ultimate Edition fully functional. After finishing the installation, the customary reboot is required.
As an added bonus, Sapphire has included several pieces of software from CyberLink. Everyone has heard of PowerDVD, a program to play all the DVD, Blu-ray, and HD content you desire. DVD Suite includes PowerProducer 4, PowerDirector 5, Power2Go 5.5, and Medi@Show 3, as well as trial versions of Power Backup 2.5, PowerDVD Copy, and LabelPrint 2. Even though the HD 4870 2GB Vapor-X Edition is far from a low powered HTPC card, it does have all the necessary qualifications to be one. Using Power DVD to watch a couple movies, I took a quick look through both the movie 300 and one of my favorites, Beerfest! CPU utilization is in the low single digits when using the HD4870 in this capacity by offloading the decoding to the GPU.
Last, but not least, is the Ruby ROM Version 11 disc. This disc contains game demos, wallpapers, screen savers, and several applications for you to use.
Now that the utilities, drivers, and extras are installed, let's see if the HD 4870 Ultimate Edition can live up to its name.