Date: April 5th, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a virtual walk around Sapphire's Reference version of ATI's HD5830.
First off we start at this videocard's VPU. Sapphire's use of the 40nm manufactured RV870 core is complimented with a stock clock of 800Mhz core and 1000Mhz DDR5 memory. The amount of shader pipeline and clock rates is the main difference other than the core capabilities between it and the HD5870 and the HD5850. The HD5870 has 1600 shader pipelines whereas the HD5830 has only 1120 with the HD5850 falling exactly in the middle.
also the HD5870 will have an overall higher peak memory bandwidth due to its higher memory clock at 153.6Gb/sec, but the HD5850 and the HD5830 are exactly the same at 128Gb/sec.
As mentioned earlier, Sapphire uses a five 8mm copper heatpipe based cooler for the VPU alone. The fan blow s air over the cooler which has part of its exhaust being blown back into the case, and part is blown out the rear. To me, this seems to be an awfully big cooler for one chip and having these hot GDDR5 memory not being cooled at all seems to be an oversight. Whether it will affect overclocking will be seen in the upcoming sections. I am more of a fan of the coolers that intake air on one end of the card and blow the hot exhaust directly out the cards rear exhaust port and out of the case.
The back of the card is simple and unobstructed so that it won't interfere with any motherboard northbridge cooling solutions. Direct temperature testing with an infrared thermometer resulted in a temperature of only 48c on the portion of the card directly under the VPU core. The cooling is definitely doing its job. Under load, the VPU would go up as high as 65c during some extensive gaming, but it seems to have never really ramped up the speed of the fan to cool things down. Manually turning the fan up to 50% had the fan still barely detectable, and load temperatures dropping by over 10c.