Sapphire HD 5870 and HD 5750 Vapor-X Reviewccokeman - November 3, 2009
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After looking at many of Sapphire's Vapor-X lineup, I have to say that the Vapor-X lineup delivers the goods, in terms of performance and cooling, with the overhead available to increase the level of graphics performance without fear of overheating the video card. In the past, ATI cards were notoriously hot running, but not anymore. The Microloops Vapor Chamber Technology does what it is supposed to do, keep the components cool! At stock or overclocked speeds, the cards never went above 60 degrees Celsius! Pretty stout cooling for today's power house video cards. Keeping cool is not the only criteria looked at anymore, noise is a big factor in many people's purchase decisions. The days of keeping the card cool regardless of how noisy it gets are over. When it comes to overclocking, the HD 5870 and HD 5750 Vapor-X cards gave up impressive speeds, above what I could get on the reference versions. The notable overclocks were 150MHz worth of increase on the HD 5750 and 116MHz on the 5870, plus a massive 200Mhz on the 5750's 1GB of GDDR5 memory. With no doubt, the use of better cooling and better components helps in this department. Solid capacitors and "Black Diamond" chokes offer a longer life span, cooler operating temperatures (10% cooler), and improved efficiency (25+%).
Sapphire has always included a nice bundle that adds value to the purchase of their video cards, and this series of cards is no different. With each card you get all the hardware needed to get connected to your system, as well as the added bonus of two free games with the 5870, and a single game with the 5750. With the 5870, you get Battle Stations Pacific and a coupon for the DirectX 11 title, Dirt 2, while with the 5750 you get just the Dirt2 coupon, good for a free download of the game when it is launched in early December. It is nice that ATI and Sapphire have the first DirectX 11 cards to hit the market, but sadly there really is not much to take advantage of the technology yet. What you can take advantage of though is ATI's "Eyefinity" multi-monitor technology, where you can string three monitors together in surround mode, to increase the immersion level while playing games. Flight and driving sims would be the obvious games to take advantage of this. Resolutions of up to 7680x1600 are supported on these cards. So, you say you want more performance than one card will give you? Just pop another one, two or three more into a supported motherboard and the performance should scale upwards quite well. The news of an increase in pricing on the HD 5870 to $399 dollars this week puts the Vapor-X HD 5870 in a position of having more value added, as it is priced at $399 as well. If the pricing on the HD 5750 Vapor-X holds close to the $135 to $145 price tag on the reference cards, this will hold true for it as well. To sum it up, you get increased performance and cooling from the Sapphire Vapor-X series for, what matters most right now in this economy, a price point that is reasonable.
- Cooling Performance
- DX 11
- High end components
- Lack of DirectX 11 games