Video card manufacturer Sapphire must be thinking that the new Radeon HD 5870 is not quite as good as it can be. After all, the new cards have not been out 24 hours and we are seeing pictures of Sapphire's Vapor X non-reference version. These designs usually feature better cooling, better parts and tweaked BIOSes. They offer an improvement over the stock designs right from AMD.
This is a pretty quick turn around with a non-reference design and has us wondering if they are getting special permission from AMD to do this. Usually AMD likes its AIB partners to wait a little while before they dive in and re-work everything. However, if AMD is letting this one go early, it could be an indication of how much AMD wants/needs this GPU to be a success.
After all, it is rarely the reference designs that sell well; instead it is the custom builds from each AIB that draws the faithful to the new products. Combine that with bundles and you get good sales. Letting a well-known AIB partner build a custom card this early could indicate that AMD is very serious about the 58xx series.