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Sapphire HD 7770 Vapor-X OC Edition Review

Price: $149.99


Sapphire has had a running line of cards with Vapor-X Technology since 2007 with the release of the 3870 ATOMIC Edition graphics cards. Vapor-X is a method derived from Aerospace applications and high-end server applications that has made it to the market for the "average Joes," you and me. The 4000, 5000, and 6000 AMD series cards have all benefited from the chambered expertise with several additions to the Vapor-X family. Today the 7000 series becomes a part of the family as well. The Sapphire HD 7770 with Vapor-X is now available.

On top of being the first 7000 series into the Vapor-X family, this card has something extra to offer as well; it is also an OC edition with factory clocks at 1100MHz/1300MHz. The core clocks are some of the highest released – it was a big deal just to get the GHz Edition of cards not too long ago. As the third generation of DirectX 11-compatible members, the card is ready for all the newest games, and with the hype of Eyefinity (even I joined the bandwagon) you'll have enough inputs to support your dream setup with two DVI ports, HDMI, and a single DisplayPort. With the costly new NVIDIA cards hitting the market, this just might be the diamond in the rough that fits your budget with enough left over for more.


Closer Look:

The box has your classic Ruby on the front decked out in a snow patrol attire, though I'm not so sure how warm it would really keep her in a true snow storm; but there also isn't much skin exposed for you male friends out there looking for a lingering peek. Surprisingly the box does not give a nice shout out to the ever amazing OC edition that it is. Nowhere on the box does it say anything about the factory overclocks – I'm really surprised by this and a bit disappointed to be honest. I feel like that, if nothing else, is a solid selling point; now why isn't it on the box?

The front of the box sports a few stickers: the OC Edition (not that it says anything about the clock speeds), the HDMI high speed sticker (it does come with an HDMI cable), and the 1GB of GDDR5, which is about standard these days anyway. The box also sports the Vapor-X logo, so this should provide a nice warm feeling for any of you who've owned such cards.

The back of the box goes into some specifications and feature details, but again no mention of the OC speeds anywhere. We’ve got an OCC award logo on the box there from Sapphire "winning" us over in the past. I hope this card is worthy of holding the same. Let's get this thing open – I wanna see the card!



So after cutting the Sapphire sticker tape away the usual brown box is revealed; recycled cardboard with a threefold flap holding things in. Opening it up and a form-fitted recycled shell holds the card and cables securely for shipping; it is great packing. The card is wrapped in a static bubble pack with a warning sticker reminding you to plug the card into your PSU. The included high speed HDMI cable is coiled up with the 6-pin/Molex adapter and the other goodies lie underneath. I'm happy with the packing and looking forward to getting a closer look.



Here is a shot of the cables and the driver disk from beneath the cardboard tray. A DVI to VGA adapter is included to allow your old monitors to keep chugging along. The foiled Sapphire sticker is included to either add to your case sticker collection or whatever you do with hardware stickers – I really like getting them for some reason; not to show off my hardware, but to stick it to something. The driver CD, a quick install guide, and a small ad flyer are included for whatever you'd like to do with them. The newest and up to date drivers, of course, can still be found on Sapphire's website if you have an Internet connection; but the CD really saves your butt when things go south.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Video Card
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Metro 2033
  6. Testing: Batman: Arkham City
  7. Testing: Battlefield 3
  8. Testing: Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
  9. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  10. Testing: DiRT 3
  11. Testing: Mafia II
  12. Testing: 3DMark 11
  13. Testing: Temperatures
  14. Testing: Power Consumption
  15. Conclusion
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