Sapphire HD 5870 and HD 5750 Vapor-X Reviewccokeman - November 3, 2009
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When it comes down to looks, the the HD 5750 Vapor-X does not look too much different from the Sapphire reference version. What's underneath may well tell the tale of how well this card performs in relation to the Sapphire reference version. With the Vapor-X edition, you get an increase in both the GPU core clock to 710Mhz and the memory goes up to 1160Mhz, both 10 MHz jumps that should offer a little bump in performance. The GPU core on the HD 5750 Vapor-X contains 1.04 Billion transistors, 720 stream processors,16 ROP's and 36 texture units. The card is equipped with 1GB of GDDR5 memory running through a 128-bit bus. The Vapor Chamber heatsink and improved component selection are what set the Vapor-X models apart from the reference boards. The shroud used on the Vapor-X edition runs toward the rear of the card, to improve airflow over the VRM circuit. The Sapphire logo on the top side of the shroud glows blue when the fan speed ramps up, giving a visual clue that the card is working harder.
Connectivity for the HD 5750 Vapor-X is standard fare for the 5 series cards from Sapphire. You get two Dual Link DVI ports, a single DisplayPort jack, and a single HDMI port that is supports HDMI 1.3. If you use the HDMI output, 7.1 sound can be carried along with the video signal. The output configuration enables the use of ATI's Eyefinity Multi-Monitor technology, with a resolution of 7680x1600 supported by using three monitors of up to 30-inches. To use the technology, you need to use the two Dual link DVI ports along with the DisplayPort, which means that one of your monitors must have a DisplayPort jack. The back end of the card contains the 6-pin PCIe power connection. In the view of the card, you can see the solid capacitors and the Black Diamond chokes that carry an integral heatsink to allow the choke to run cooler and more efficiently - up to 25% more efficiently. The HD 5750 Vapor-X is Crossfire X capable since you have more than one bridge connection on the PCB.
The big selling points on the Vapor-X series are the improved cooling, higher clock speeds, and improved component usage. To get a better look at the PCB and heatsink assembly, the card comes apart with just a few screws. The Vapor-X cooling system has at its heart a vapor plate that takes the thermal load from the Juniper core, and transfers it to the aluminum heatsink attached on the back side of the Vapor chamber. From there, the fan does the rest by supplying the airflow to carry the heat load away from the HD 5750. You can see where the chamber is sealed with a crimp and solder joint, much like on a sealed refrigeration system. The cooling is only part of the solution. The solid capacitors have a longer lifespan, while the Black Diamond chokes run cooler thanks to the integral heatsink. This allows the choke to operate 10% cooler and 25% more efficiently. The last part of the equation is the shroud that directs airflow over the onboard components. It also has a light on the top of it that lights up brighter under higher fans speeds.
The Juniper based core on the HD 5750 Vapor-X has a total of 1.04 Billion transistors on board. Total shader processor count comes in at 720, a total of 80 less than the HD 4800 series. The texture units count is 36, with a total of 16 ROPs - the same as the HD 5770. The memory used on Vapor-X5750 is supplied by Hynix and is rated to run at 5Gbps, or 1250Mhz on a 128-bit bus. This it was able to easily achieve and topped out at 1360Mhz.
Following in the steps of previous generations of Vapor-X equipped cards, the Sapphire HD 5750 Vapor-X has the tools to be an overclocking beast. The reference card did quite well with clock speeds of 840MHz on the GPU core and 1346MHz on the memory, so let's see how this rendition fares.