The decision to go down the Zalman cooling path was a good idea; it's helped drop the temperatures to a level we're a lot more comfortable with and makes us feel more confident about having the card overclocked.
As we previously mentioned, while the stock cooler on the HD 4850 never caused us any issues, we would have preferred the temps to be lower than what they were. This becomes an even bigger deal when you throw overclocking into the mix or the fact that you may have a small case with limited airflow.
Sapphire have really done a lot right with this card. Apart from the cooling solution, the overclock gives us a nice out of the box performance increase compared to the stock model and we're fully loaded up with a number of applications including a full version copy of 3DMark Vantage.
While Crossfire continues to be hit and miss in a lot of games, at least with two cards we don't see a drop in performance like we do when we add three or four cards into the mix. Crossfire still isn't a bad option, though, as in some applications we do see increases and it's a technology that AMD and the ATI driver team continue to work on.
If you find yourself wanting a HD 4850 that packs a bit more punch and cools significantly better than the stock solution, don't be afraid of spending the extra few dollars to go down the TOXIC route.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package]
- Page 3 [The Card]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark06]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - World in Conflict]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Crysis]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP]
- Page 16 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 17 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 18 [Final Thoughts]
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