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Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro "Ultimate Edition" Review (Page 4)

By Mike Wright from Aug 28, 2003 @ 23:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Sapphire

The Board

Now that we have seen some of the peripheral items that come with the board, it is time to get to the meat of the matter. And, of course, one of the first things that catches the eye is the huge heatsink covering a large portion of the board. We'll get to that in a bit, but first let's take a look at some of the highlights of the Sapphire 9800 Pro.

Taking a quick peek at the available ports shows nothing out of the ordinary. You have the ability to output to a standard 15-pin CRT display, S-Video and/or Digital display. And again, ATI makes some of the best working dual display outputs on the market so you're set no matter what you desire.

This is something that many manufacturers seem to be getting away from; RAM sinks. With the higher performance of modern components, the heat buildup can easily get out of hand. Though passive in nature, the heatsinks added to the memory modules will help you both in the areas of stability and overclocking. Something so simple should never be left off a modern graphics board, so it is good to see that the folks at Sapphire are using them still.

If you have dealt with 9700 Pro boards in the past, you will likely remember the flimsy appearing power connector sitting towards the upper/rear portion of the video card. While I never had any problems with this piece becoming loose, it always felt as though it wanted to give you problems.

With the advent of the 9800 Pro series board, this problem has been taken care of. You'll notice that the supplemental power requirements are now taken care of by a normal industry standard Molex connector. Not only is it considerably more durable, it also allows you to just hook up a spare Molex directly to the video board. But if you happen to be short of connectors in your system, then you're still in luck since Sapphire has added a cable with a splitter just for your situation. Simply remove power from something like the hard drive and hook it into the included cable. Then you just need to connect the splitter to the graphics board and to the hard drive and you're set.

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