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Date: October 12th, 2006
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL


As this is a simple product, a short walkthough should point out all advantages and disadvantages I have seen through my hands on inspection.



Once the card was installed, you will realize that this is quiet cooling solution. It still can be heard, but nothing even close to being annoying when it is installed in any case. The best way to describe the sound is "normal". Not too loud, not silent, but sufficiently in between.




My initial impression of the Copper cooler installed on this card was extremely positive but quickly changed. The X1300XT I reviewed recently HERE from Sapphire had a problem with the cooler not being attached to the memory modules and sadly, this problem is also apparent on this model.




Most people wouldn't see this unless they looked closely, but the modules and the cooler are separated by a space at least 3mm wide. As I always say, the only thing worse than completely uncovered and uncooled memory is memory that is covered and uncooled. The memory just won't be able keep itself at a proper temperature when it is under the stress of gaming.



To test this out I took my handy infrared thermometer and take a temperature reading on the PCB side of the memory module. The room air temperature was 21c at the time of testing.


At stock clock rates and at idle the temperature of the memory was 47c. But, when a stress test was started, that temperature climbed slowly up to 63c which is not good. The heatsink itself was on 42c at its hottest. Once overclocked the memory stayed put at 50c and skyrocketed to 72c. Not good at all. Having your components running hotter than they should be will lead to lower product life and potential graphic artifacting. I certainly hope they won't be a going trend and hope that Sapphire fixes this production problem ASAP. It costs nothing for a small amount of thermal tape.



Sapphire decided to go with the dual DVI approach which allows users to take advantage of two digital lcd monitors. Between the two monitor connections is the video out put connector for HDTV or standard S-Video/Composite video connections through the appropriate adapter or dongle.

 

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