brand name seems to dominate the market with their ATI Radeon based graphics cards. They are always quick to market with the latest models, many of their products feature enhancements that exceed the performance of reference deigns, and according to their website they are "ATI's largest and best performing partner". I guess those three things could be closely related to dominating the market!
The product provided for this review is a perfect example of Sapphire's approach. The Sapphire Toxic Radeon HD4850 512MB graphics card finds the newly released HD4850 GPU on a custom PCB, coupled with a high performance Zalman cooler, and factory overclocked. The combination offers optimized performance, enhanced cooling, and a completely unique appearance.
Before taking a closer look at the specific card provided for review, let's take a look at some published data on the 512MB Toxic HD4850. The items listed below cover some of the key points, and for a complete list of the current features and specifications, please visit the official product page
on the Sapphire website.
» GDDR3 memory 256-bit memory interface
» DirectX 10.1
» 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
» ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
» Use up to four discrete cards with an AMD 790FX based motherboard
» Dynamic geometry acceleration
» Game physics processing capability
» ATI AvivoHD video and display technologyUnified Video Decoder 2 (UVD) for Blu-ray and HD Video
» Built-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound supportOn-chip HDCP
» ATI PowerPlay technology
» PCI Express 2.0 support
» Display Output: Dual DL-DVI-I+HDTV
» Core Clock: 675 MHz
» Memory Clock: 1100MHz, 2200 Mbps
» PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
» 512MB /256bit GDDR3 memory interface
» Dual Slot Active Cooler
» HDMI compliant via dongle
» 7.1 Audio Channel Support
» Microsoft DirectX 10.1 support
» Shader Model 4.1 support
When you see that something from Sapphire is "Toxic", don't be afraid! All this means is that the card has been factory overclocked for even greater performance. A reference design Radeon HD4850 has the GPU running at 625Mhz and the memory running at 993Mhz. What we have here is an instant 8.0% boost on the core clock and a 10.7% boost on the memory. While the specifications indicate memory running at 1100MHz, the sample provided for this review (and others I have read) arrived with the memory set to 1150MHz. This is 15.8% faster than the reference design, and since it came this way, it was tested this way.