"Delivering mayhem to the mainstream". That is what Sapphire
promises with the graphics card provided for this review. They have developed a product that incorporates some interesting performance oriented enhancements around the mainstream ATI Radeon HD3850 GPU that just might help it live up to that promise.
The Sapphire 1024MB Radeon HD3850 graphics card is shown in the promotional image above, and while it may feature one of the more mainstream GPUs in the Radeon HD3XXX series, it definitely has an aggressive appearance. The blue PCB and non-standard single slot cooling solution make it look a good deal like the high performance Sapphire Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870
reviewed here recently, and I am hopeful than more than just the good looks are shared.
Features and Specifications:
The bullet points found below provide some of the key technical data on the Sapphire 1024MB Radeon HD3850 graphics card. For a complete list of the current features and specifications please visit the official product page
on the Sapphire website.
» Core Clock: 702MHz
» Memory Clock: 828MHz (1656MHz effective)
» Memory Size: 1024MB
» Memory Type: 256-bit GDDR3
» Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus
» Other Features:
» DirectX 10.1 support
» CrossFire X support
» ATI PowerPlay
» Hardware processed 1080p video playback of Blu-ray and HD DVDs
» HDMI with 5.1 surround sound audio
Other than an overdose of GDDR3 memory, the first thing to catch my eye was that the core clock has a modest factory overclock. While a reference HD3850 might have a GPU running at 668MHz, Sapphire has ramped things up on this card by 34MHz, or about 5%. This extra speed combined with 2x to 4x the memory of a typical HD3850 should provide some interesting results. While most systems might not be able to take advantage of all 1024MB (physically or practically), such a capacity should eliminate graphics memory as the limiting factor when it comes to performance.
The box for the Sapphire
1024MB Radeon HD3850 features the same warrior princess type of character found on other Sapphire products. If you can break your gaze from that side of the box, you will also find information regarding the card's features, specifications, and a few of the software titles included in the bundle.