Date: December 18th, 2008
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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As one of, or maybe the largest and most popular ATI videocard producing partners, Sapphire has succeeded in separating themselves from other manufacturers on the market by not just offering your basic run-of-the-mill videocard, but also niche watercooled videocards for the user who wants a fast and stable gaming experience without the additional noise. But mind you, this comes at a significant price though seeing Sapphire's Atomic watercooled videocards are made in limited numbers and therefore demand a price premium that is double or more when compared to the standard air-cooled variety.
Past Atomic watercooled cards had a dedicated watercooling system for the videocard alone, but with Sapphire's latest HD4870 X2 variety, they decided for kicks to include cpu waterblock as well. Seeing I was just expecting the videocard to be watercooled, when I opened the case and found a cpu watercooling option included as well, saying I was surprised would be a slight understatement.
But the additional hardware does come at an additional price. With everything being review today, the retail package comes in at a MSRP of US$700. I wouldn't take that number too seriously seeing online retailer competition will have that price reduced once they begin to receive stock. Mind you, with the limited number, the MSRP holding wouldn't be a surprise as well.
But taking in the fact you have a watercooled computer and the fastest ATI videocard in the world in one box, you essentially are getting a 2 for 1 value. And seeing this makes for an incredibly easy install with everything included and maintenance free for the life of the product, it can be summed up as an elite turn-key setup for those that want to game and not fool around for hour setting up a watercooling system in addition to installing the card.
ATI RADEON HD 4800 SERIES VIDEOCARD TECHNOLOGY (From ATI)
ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 Series GPUs bring the power of graphics ‘supercomputing' to gamers, setting a new standard for visual computing. Redefine the way you play and take HD gaming to the extreme with best-in-class performance. With one teraFLOPS on tap, the TeraScale graphics engine delivers an immersive, cinematic gaming experience. Add this graphics card to your PC and watch Blu-ray movies and play HD content with incredible visual fidelity or take your experience to another level with new multimedia capabilities. Do it all with break-through efficiency that doesn't compromise performance.
Redefine HD Gaming
With more than twice the processing power of previous generation AMD discrete graphics cards, ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphics cards deliver a cinematic gaming experience and unprecedented performance.
The new TeraScale graphics engine combines the power of one teraFLOPS, 800 stream processors and next generation GDDR5 memory to propel you deep into your gameplay with seamless frame rates and high resolutions.
Enhanced anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering create striking graphics with unparalleled realism so you can max out the settings of the most demanding next-generation games or revitalize your favorite titles.
Play today while preparing for tomorrow with tessellation, support for DirectX® 10.1 and scalable ATI CrossFireX™ technology.
Go Beyond HD Video
Add an ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphics card to your PC and watch the latest Blu-ray and HD movies play with incredible fidelity 1 – upscale to nearly twice the display resolution of HD content. 2 Take full advantage of Blu-ray functionality with dual-stream, picture in picture (PIP) capabilities.
Sophisticated new features within ATI Avivo™ HD technology give you the freedom and flexibility to edit videos quickly and convert them to H.264 and MPEG-2 formats 1.8x faster than real-time.
Support for the latest audio visual interconnects ensures you can take advantage of the latest display technology.
Like their predecessors, the ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphics cards offer optimal performance and break-through efficiency with platform-independent intelligent power management.
Regardless of platform, these graphics cards deliver the power needed to blaze through even the most intense games while intuitively conserving energy at idle or when demand is low.
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series – Key Features
TeraScale Graphics Engine - The new TeraScale graphics engine features over one teraFLOPS, nearly one billion transistors and 800 stream processors so you can enjoy the high resolutions and fast frame rates previously only available with dual-card systems.
Advanced Memory - GDDR5 memory provides twice the bandwidth per pin of GDDR3.
Enhanced Anti-Aliasing & Anisotropic Filtering - High performance anisotropic filtering and 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) smooth jagged edges and create true-to-life graphics, for everything from grass to facial features.
DirectX® 10.1 - Play today while preparing for tomorrow with state-of-the-art DirectX 10.1 graphics capabilities.
ATI CrossFireX™ Technology - ATI CrossFireX™ technology with up to quad GPU support offers superior scalability so your system is ready to level up when you are.
PCI Express 2.0 - Support for PCI Express 2.0 will prepare you for bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications.
Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) - UVD 2 frees up your CPU for other tasks so you get The Ultimate Visual Experience™ for even the most processing-intensive content, including VC-1, H.264 and now MPEG-2. Also, take full advantage of Blu-ray functionality with dual-stream, picture in picture (PIP) capabilities.
Accelerated Video Transcoding (AVT) - AVT allows you to convert videos to H.264 and MPEG-2 formats up to 19x faster than when using a just CPU.3 Full 1080p files can be converted to H.264 and MPEG-2 up to 1.8x faster than real-time. 3
Upscale Beyond 1080p - Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p display resolution and beyond. 1
Enhanced DVD Upscaling - Watch standard DVD movies in near high-definition quality with DVD upscaling. The GPU uses post processing algorithms to enhance standard and low resolution videos and movies on your HD display.
Dynamic Contrast - Dynamic Contrast automatically adjusts the contrast and brightness during scenes to consistently deliver a crisp, vibrant picture.
HDMI - Enjoy the latest audio technologies using HDMI with 7.1 digital surround sound support. Also, xvYCC support allows the user to enjoy a wider range of color when connected to a capable HDTV.
Dynamic Power Management - ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series graphics cards deliver high performance when needed and conserve power when the demand on the graphics processor is low.
More Performance Per Watt - ATI Radeon HD 4800 series delivers up to 2x the performance per watt of AMD's previous generation GPUs.
SAPPHIRE CORPORATE PROFILE
Pioneers in a new era of how data is displayed and games are played, Sapphire shepherds the performance oriented with ground-breaking solutions to an environment that remains in a constant state of flux and ultimate evolution. For over ten years Sapphire has held true to its unwavering commitment, the commitment to deliver the most feature rich and soundly engineered products. Because of Sapphire's firm position on achieving excellence with each product that leaves our ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified factories, you can rest assured that your customers will recognize YOUR commitment to selling only the highest of quality components.
"Sapphire is ATI's largest and best performing partner World Wide" Dave Orton, CEO ATI
Since ATI announced its manufacturing & distribution relationships with ODMs and AiBs in June of 2001, SAPPHIRE has been THE key ATI Graphics Boards Supplier worldwide and now stands poised and ready to capture the mainboard audience of those who seek a stable platform for their mission critical operations.