While the cooler might be slightly different to the HD 3870, the card on a whole does feel very similar. Unlike the HD 4850, the card is of dual-slot design which means instead of the traditional fan style we have the same type that we saw on the HD 3870.
Of course, Sapphire has stickered the cooler up, letting people know that the card is from them.
Looking around the card, it's simply awesome to see that AMD has opted for dual 6-pin PCI Express connectors over the use of an 8-pin one. This means that more people can simply get straight into using the card without having to lose other connectors, no thanks to the use of convertors.
The top of the card of course has our two Crossfire connectors that we will well and truly be making use of today.
The I/O side of things doesn't hold any surprises such as HDMI connectors; we simply have two Dual Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port. Above that we have our exhaust outlet.
There is a lot about the HD 4850 and HD 4870 that is very similar in the specification department; both cards have 965 million transistors, 55nm built core, 800 stream processors, 40 texture units and 16 render back ends.
The HD 4870 is more of a HD 4850 on steroids with a bump in the core from 625MHz to 750MHz and a MHz DDR memory clock on the 512MB of GDDR5 memory. The move from GDDR3 to GDDR5 has boosted the memory data rate massively from the 2Gbps that the HD 4850 offers to 3.6 Gbps.
The move to GDDR5 is meant to mean that the large 512-bit memory bus isn't needed while still being able to offer massive performance. Ultimately there is only one way to find out if there is any truth to this though.
After looking at the performance of the 256-bit memory bus on the HD 4850, this isn't really a concern for us. The main problem now is whether or not the HD 4870s are going to be hindered with only 512MB of memory compared to the 896MB found on the GTX 260 and the 1GB found on the GTX 280.