recently released a new flagship in the Radeon HD4800 series (the HD4890), but they have also been busy refreshing some of the existing model numbers. The HD4850 and HD4870 have been on the shelf for a while now, but Sapphire has integrated a few electrical, aesthetic, and cooling updates in to the designs and have released them as their "Vapor-X" series of cards.
This review is going to take a look at the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD4850 512MB graphics card, shown in the promotional image below. Compared to some original HD4850 cards, it features a much more compact PCB, with an interesting cooler that promises to deliver efficient, low noise operation. Couple these changes with the use of higher quality solid capacitors and a "Black Diamond Choke" intended to contribute to the energy efficiency, and it is clear that Sapphire has focused on refining the Radeon HD4850 in a variety of ways with this release.
Before taking a closer look at the sample provided for review, let's take a look at some of the published data on this card as taken from the official product page
on the Sapphire website.
» 256-bit memory interface
» Quiet and Powerful Dual Slot Vapor-Chamber Cooler
» Under 20 dbA in 2D Operation
» Under 30 dbA in 3D Operation before 85 degree °C
» DirectX® 10.1
» 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
» PCI Express® 2.0 support
» Dynamic geometry acceleration
» Game physics processing capability
» ATI Avivo™HD video and display technology
» Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD) for Blu-ray™ and HD Video
» Built-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound supportOn-chip HDCP
» ATI PowerPlay™ technology
» I/O Output: VGA/DL-DVI/HDMI
» Core Clock: 625 MHz
» Memory Clock: 993 MHz
» PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
» 512MB /256bit GDDR3 memory interface
» On-board HDMI
» 7.1 Audio Channel Support
» Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
» Shader Model 4.1 support
» Dual Slot Vapor Chamber Cooler
This card features the reference GPU and memory speeds (625MHz/993MHz), but the enhanced cooling and solid aluminum capacitors should provide for some decent overclocking potential.