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Sapphire Radeon HD5870 Vapor-X

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Posted November 3, 2009 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

AMD’s push to bring a 40nm GPU to the market was a smart move with their previous generation 4700 lineup, and building upon that now in the 5000 series will likely pay off since Nvidia’s Fermi-based cards are not due to hit the market for quite some time. This leaves AMD as the king of the graphics hill for the foreseeable future, which is rather ironic when you consider they purposely chose to move away from that specific pursuit and instead focus on gaming value for their graphics cards. In an ironic twist and somewhat of a surprise then, is the Sapphire Radeon 5870 Vapor-X not only offers good gaming value but killer top performance as well.

In terms of performance, the 5870 Vapor-X comes factory-overclocked, only slightly bumping up the core and memory speeds, but more importantly bringing a custom cooler that tames the horsepower under the hood, keeping the card very cool and very quiet as a result; that is no small feat. Assuming you have the physical space in your case to house this card, it’s just drop-and-go; you won’t hear it inside your case, it won’t create a furnace effect in your room, but you’ll sure see the results in your gaming framerates. Quite simply, this card embarasses the previous generation cards while also running roughshod over current Nvidia offerings. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Nvidia or ATI fanboy, this card is very impressive no matter how you slice it; lower power, lower temperatures, and higher performance is a rare combination, but Sapphire has successfully accomplished just that.

The 5870 Vapor-X is expected to carry a price tag of $395-$400 USD at launch, and considering the reference cards currently retail for $390 USD, an extra 10 bucks at most is a pittance. Given what you get in return in terms of lower temperatures and noise levels, along with two free games tossed in for good measure, the choice here between reference and Vapor-X is a no-brainer.

Sapphire’s Radeon 5870 Vapor-X is a very impressive graphics card, posting some eye-watering results and sitting atop the proverbial performance heap as king of the hill, at least for the time being. There are one or two competing 5870 products that may offer higher overclocking potential (and we’ll be looking at them shortly), but if you want top performance in a cool and quiet setup without any hassle or tweaking, the Sapphire Radeon 5870 Vapor-X is about as good as it gets.

Summary

 

Sapphire Radeon HD5870 Vapor-X

Our thanks go to Sapphire for providing the Radeon HD5870 Vapor-X for this review.

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