Sapphire Toxic HD4850 Reviewccokeman - July 31, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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With so many HD4850 models out now, what's the best one to buy? With the heating problems that many of the HD4850 cards with reference coolers have, the best bet would be one with an aftermarket solution already on the card. There are starting to be more and more of these available, as the AMD/ATI partners are fielding the many complaint calls. One such card available right now is the Sapphire Toxic Edition HD4850. Not only does it come with an aftermarket cooling solution, it comes pre-overclocked to take advantage of the additional cooling capability of the aftermarket Zalman heatpipe cooler. Is this well known cooling solution going to stand up to the heat load from the Toxic Edition HD4850? We will have to see. We have all seen the performance numbers from a multitude of HD4850 video cards; the performance per dollar spent has been the selling point on this series of cards. With a price just slightly higher than the reference card, will the Toxic separate itself from the masses and provide that added performance for the added dollars? Let's find out.
The simple, basic, black themed box reminds me a little bit of the Metallica black album, with the alien as a ghosted image that's barely visible. The front panel proudly states that this is something special by way of the Toxic logo. Highlights include the HDMI capability and the bundled suite of software that includes Futuremark's latest, 3DMark Vantage. The rear panel highlights the features and capabilities of the HD4850, as well as some of the awards that Sapphire has earned for its products.
Opening this batch of toxicity, you find a plain cardboard box. Inside, the Toxic is shipped with 2 layers of protection - foam on the outside, as well as a bubble wrap anti-static bag. Under the foam layer, you will find the large bundle of accessories that Sapphire has provided.
The bundle includes software from CyberLink, Futuremark, the driver disk, Ruby ROM, DVI to D-sub, and DVI to HDMI adapters. Also making appearances are a CrossFire bridge connector, a power adapter, and several adapters to send the video signal out to a display. All in all, a pretty substantial offering.
Now we know what comes with the card, so let's have a look at what makes the Toxic so special.