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Sapphire's Watercooled Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition - The Card

Sapphire has come out with the claim that this is the "World's Fastest Graphics Card". Fact or Fiction? Let's find out.

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Dec 21, 2008 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 86%      Manufacturer: Sapphire

The Card


Pulling the card and it's connected components out of the briefcase, we have three sections to look at. The main bit is of course the HD 4870 X2 and connected to that we have a radiator along with the CPU block we mentioned before.


Sapphire's Watercooled Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


There really isn't anything too unusual going on with the card; the back is covered with a sticker that has the ATOMIC logo along with Sapphire's and ATI's. We can see two pipes coming out of the top of the card which are actually only a 1/4" in diameter. While smaller than most water-cooling solutions, hopefully Sapphire know what they're doing and it still kicks butt.


Sapphire's Water-cooled Radon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


Sapphire's Water-cooled Radon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


Looking around the card itself, we have our two power connectors located towards the back of the card, a single 8-pin and single 6-pin connector. Moving to the front of the card, we have a Crossfire connector. While in a good position and not being blocked by the included CPU cooler, it could be a little difficult to get two of these cards running.


Sapphire's Water-cooled Radon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


As far as the I/O department goes, we have two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port sitting between the two.


Moving away from the card for a second and having a look at the extras, we have a single 120mm radiator alongside a pretty sturdy looking CPU block with a copper base. The system is a closed loop circuit which doesn't require maintenance; this attested by the lack of a fill point being present. Out of the box the circuit is filled up and ready to go and this is great for people who like the idea of having water cooled components without the concern of having to maintain it themselves.


Sapphire's Watercooled Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


Sapphire's Watercooled Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


What's also great about the cooling solution is that Sapphire has opted to use one of the best water-cooling manufacturers out there. With the help of Asetek they've managed to put together what looks to be a very sturdy solution. While the tubing is looking a bit thin, we're sure that Asetek know what they're doing. As for its GPU cooling performance, we'll find that out very soon.




As we mentioned earlier, the card does come in overclocked. As you can see below, the core has been increased from 750MHz to 800MHz while the memory has moved from 900MHz (3600MHz effectively) to a more round sounding 1000MHz (4000MHz effectively).


Sapphire's Watercooled Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC Edition


Is that enough for it to really stamp out the competition? Well, time will only tell, so let's check out the test system setup we have today and get stuck into the performance the card offers.


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