has been producing ATI based graphics cards since 2001, and we finally took our first look at one in a review
in April 2008. The capabilities of that Radeon HD3870 X2 1GB graphics card definitely made quite an impression, but a price tag approaching $400 won't appeal to everyone. This review is going to focus on a single core HD3870 offering from Sapphire that costs over $200 less than the X2, but has some interesting features that make it stand out in the crowd of other similar cards.
The Sapphire Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870 graphics card is shown in the promotional image above, and just from the aesthetics it can be seen that it isn't a typical HD3870. The blue PCB and single slot "Vapor-X" cooling solution are the obvious differences, but a few performance related features may be of greater interest.
Features and Specifications:
The list below provides some of the key technical data on the Sapphire
Toxic 512MB Radeon HD3870 graphics card. For a complete list of up to date features and specifications please visit this page
on the Sapphire website.
» Core Clock: 800MHz
» Memory Clock: 1152MHz (2.3GHz effective)
» Memory Size: 512MB
» Memory Type: 256-bit GDDR4
» 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
One of the first things to consider is that the graphics core and memory are both factory overclocked. A typical HD3870 features a 775MHz core and 1125MHz GDDR4 memory, so this model runs just over 3% faster on the core and 2% faster on the memory. Neither overclock could be considered extreme, but it does offer a plug and play boost over a reference design HD3870 that some gamers might appreciate.
The box for the Toxic Radeon HD3870 is dominated by a molten metal man rising from the ocean... or something like that. It also provides a good deal of technical information on the card, as well as details on the bundle of accessories. While the bundle of software remains a mystery until the box is opened on some cards, here you know that there is at least a copy of PowerDVD 7 and a free download of "The Black Box" from Steam.