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Sapphire Radeon 6870 Vapor-X

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Posted February 7, 2011 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

Sapphire has a formidable product here. The 6870 Vapor-X has the best temperatures of any 6870 we’ve seen, which shouldn’t be surprising given the impressive historical performance of Vapor-X cards. Running quieter than the other cards as well, and toss in some good overclocking headroom, and the Sapphire 6870 Vapor-X is one of the best out there if you’re in the market for a Radeon 6870 card.

Traditionally, Sapphire Vapor-X cards have been priced with a very small premium over the reference cards, so we expect to see this card retail for about $235 USD, which clearly is a far better option over any of the cards with the reference heatsink.

So what are the downsides? Well, our gaming results showed a bit of a mixed bag, with a few instances where the AMD cards were trounced. There is also the lack of PhysX and CUDA which can be a factor, particularly if you’re into Folding @ Home. The real issue here, however, is the competition. The Nvidia GTX 560 Ti only costs about $15 more but offers a whole lot more horsepower than the Radeon 6870 cards. This leaves the AMD cards, including this 6870 Vapor-X, in a very difficult spot.

The Sapphire 6870 Vapor-X is a fantastic competitor against the other 6870 models on the market, offering good performance and overclocking headroom, fantastic temperatures, and low noise. But that shine is unfortunately dulled by the AMD pricing scheme which simply cannot realistically compete against Nvidia’s GTX 560 Ti at this time. Hopefully we’ll see some change on the pricing front in order for AMD to better compete in this market segment.

Sapphire Radeon 6870 Vapor-X

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