Sapphire HD 4870 1GB Toxic Reviewccokeman - January 8, 2009
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When you first lay eyes on the Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic it looks next generation compared to the stock HD 4870, due to the massive Vapor-X cooler. Sapphire has chosen to use a blue-colored PC board instead of the ATI red traditionally used on ATI based cards. The Vapor-X heatsink covers the full extent of the card and uses a unique method for keeping the card cool. On the underside of the card is the bracket that holds the heatsink in place and prevents damage to the card by the weight of the heatsink. On the top of the housing there is the Toxic and the Vapor-X logos to show off your card. The cooler on the HD 4870 Toxic is a dual-slot cooling solution with an exhaust vent that allows the hot air to be expelled out of the case instead of inside creating more internal heat.
Turning the card on its side you can see the copper heatpipes that extend out of the side to aid in the cooling. On the top spine are the two notches to be used for running this card in a multi-GPU CrossFire solution. For connections there are two DVI ports that also support HDMI via the included adapter and an S-video port for component video. To power the Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic you need two PCI Express power connection to be available so if you plan on running CrossFire you must make sure you have enough PCI Express power plugs available on your power supply.
On the top of the cooler there is an active cooling fan that pushes air over the cooling fins to draw the warm heat away from the critical components. If you remove the plastic shielding of the cooler there is the guts and glory of the cooling system. The cooling system contains different parts that come together to create one nice cooling solution. There is a full aluminum heatsink in a fin design with a copper block connected to copper heatpipes. This path takes the heat through the heatpipes and into the fins to be cooled by the fan.
Flipping over the cooler, you can get a better look at the vapor chamber. The copper heat plate is soldered on over the vapor chamber so that heat can be transferd efficiently. The heat then goes to the copper heatpipes on the top of the heatsink and finally through the heat fins and blown out by the fan. The copper transfers heat fast so that the overclocked GPU can be cooled more efficiently and you can also push it a bit higher than a normal HD 4870.
With the cooler removed we can finally see the GPU and board. The Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic uses the ATI RV770XT GPU, however it is clocked at 780MHz versus the stock HD 4870 speed of 750MHz. The RV770XT is manufactured using a 55nm process and has a transistor count of 956 million. This card has 1GB GDDR5 overclocked to 1000MHz and is manufactured by Qimonda. The interface is PCI Express 2.0 interface for increased bandwidth and maximum performance.
So you can see the amount of parts used to make the Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic, here is a shot of the card in parts. The top is the plastic housing that covers the heatsink and directs the air out of the case through the PCI slots. Then there is the Vapor-X heatsink and then the GPU and board.
Now we can put the card back together and take a look at the software side of the Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic.