Date: February 5th, 2009
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire USA
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a virtual walk around Sapphire's TOXIC version of ATI's HD4870.
First off we start at this videocard's VPU. Sapphire's use of the 55nm manufactured RV770 core is usually complemented with a stock clock in the range of 750Mhz core and 900Mhz memory. This TOXIC version bumps things up a notch clocks the core at 780Mhz and the memory 1000Mhz straight out of the box. Now everyone will ask themselves, is this the overclocking ceiling for this card or does Sapphire clock this card a little conservatively for safety. To truly answer that we will be covering that in a section in the upcoming pages. But as a teaser, there is a little more headroom to squeeze a bit more performance out of this already stock overclocked card.
As for the cooler, you see Sapphire uses their Vapor-X copper heatpipe cooler which is quiet during standard low loads, and is still barely detectable even when slamming it through benchmark after benchmark for hours on end. Every once in a while out of the blue the fan will ramp up to full speed for a second or two and then die down to idle even when the videocard is not in use and is sitting at the windows desktop.
The triple heatpipe cooler is not only installed to cool the VPU itself, it is also there to cool the eight 64meg fast GDDR5 onboard memory chips. As you will see in the upcoming sections, it cool the memory modules very well and keep this card rock solid stable even when under a decent overclock.
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 50c on the portion of the card directly under the VPU core.
The power supplied through the PCI Express slot alone will not power this videocard. You will have to use two 6 pin molex connectors from your power supply or you can use the supplied adapters in the hardware kit. I personally don't know why they need two 6 pin connectors for a single core video card, but it must be used to support the cooler.