If it was ever possible to have an unnatural attraction to a piece of computer hardware, I'm pretty sure this is what you'll fall for. This is just an absolutely gorgeous card and continues to show us why not only ATI are a force to be reckoned with, but why Sapphire are such a fantastic partner.
The HD 5970 is already a fast card; a really fast card! The Sapphire version is just ridiculous fast. Some people will say overkill; others will say it's the card we've been waiting for. The Sapphire HD 5970 TOXIC 4GB isn't the answer to the GTX 480 for the simple reason that ATI have nothing to answer to when it comes having the world's fastest video card.
On the topic of the extra memory, it's safe to say that the huge performance gains come from the massive jumps in MHz as opposed to the extra memory. Extra memory is always a nice touch, although most the time it does very little for performance. Sapphire wanted to offer the world's fastest video card and in doing so it really needed to offer the model in 4GB; it ultimately helps offer that "wow" value.
As for the bundle, I find myself really torn. The fact that Sapphire have chosen to bundle both of the games we've seen on recent ATI models is great. The fact that they're also games that are actually worth playing makes it even better. The issue I have with the bundle is the fact that they have chosen to include an active DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter.
For starters, you're only going to use it if you're running Eyefinity. Since this is just an awesome card for 2560 x 1600 gaming, though, people who just want the fastest video card for their 30" monitor aren't going to make use of the adapter. Secondly, if you're going to run an Eyefinity setup you'll probably want to get yourself a DisplayPort monitor which means again the adapter won't be of any use to you.
The biggest issue is the fact that the adapters are worth $100 US. In the event that you're not going to use the adapter, it's just a completely unnecessary expense. The biggest problem we have with the card is that the bundle carries with it too much.
The only other problem? It's going to cost too much, but it was always going to.
The Sapphire HD 5970 TOXIC 4GB gives us more performance than we need, offers more memory than we need and will cost more than we want to spend. And we absolutely love every bit of PCB, circuitry and chip on the card.
It costs money to be on the bleeding edge of technology. You're either happy to pay to own the world's fastest video card or you're not. The people who buy this card are going to be the same people that have an Intel i7 980X, Corsair Dominator GTX 2200MHz DDR modules, SSD hard drives and anything else that just helps make your computer the fastest on the planet.
The HD 5970 TOXIC 4GB will hold value at its launch price for the simple reason it's the fastest video card we've ever tested and also because it carries with it not only two games, but two that are actually worth playing, a massive cooler that does a fantastic job of keeping the core temperature down and a monstrous amount of memory.
People are going to say how the model is a waste of money, but they're the same people who say that the i7 980X and SSD hard drives are a waste. We're sure there will be limited amounts of this model and if you've got the money to burn and the desire to own something which is so much more than a reference HD 5970 overclocked, you'll love this model.
Sapphire has created the world's fastest video card. If that's what you want, here it is.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Package]
- Page 3 [The Card and Specifications]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage]
- Page 5 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - BattleForge]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Darkest of Days]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Dark Void]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor]
- Page 16 [Temperature and Sound Tests]
- Page 17 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 18 [Total Performance Rating (TPR)]
- Page 19 [Final Thoughts]