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Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Edition Review And Benchmarks: Page 2 of 5

Running cool and quiet the new Sapphire HD 7870 GHZ Edition card hits the market at around $349.00 making it the direct competitor with NVIDIA's GTX570. By Elric Phares

Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Features

  • 1000 MHz core clock
  • 28nm manufacturing process
  • 1200 MHz memory clock
  • 2 gigs of GDDR5
  • 1280 Stream Processors
  • 2 mini Display Ports
  • 1 DVI Port
  • 1 HDMI Port
  • Dual Slot
  • Crossfire X support
  • requires two 6 pin PCI Express power connectors
  • Minimum 500 watt power supply
  • PCI Express 3.0 support

Bundled in the Box

Inside the box you'll get your driver disk, and a quick install guide. It also comes with an HDMI cable, a DVI to HDMI cable, a DVI to VGA adapter, power adapters and a CrossFire bridge. This is what we've come to expect from Sapphire and should be everything that you'd need to get your card installed and up and running.

These new cards feature AMD's new 28nm manufacturing process that provides better power efficiency and lower temperatures. This should greatly reduce the need for cooling solutions that have to rely on noisy fans to keep temperatures down and also ad headroom for overclocking. This also provides for more chip area to cram transistors into to provide better performance without having to increase the actual size of the GPU. There is no doubt that this does produce better performance with less noise and lower power requirements across the board.

One of the nicest features of this card is that it has two gigs of memory for frame buffering. This should really help to make this card perform well in an Eyefinity configuration as the extra gig of memory really comes in handy in this scenario. This extra memory buffer is what will make your performance better when using higher resolutions as well and with all the features turned up. These cards are really meant for these kinds of configurations and the extra dedicated video memory helps them to provide the necessary power for them to run correctly.

AMD also includes support for the new 4K resolution technology that is set to come out soon and when that happens it will be amazing to see the visual clarity. This is an incredibly high resolution that should dramatically increase the realism and picture quality that we're used to getting from our TVs and monitors. In order to fully utilize this new you really should have at least 2 gigs of dedicated video memory minimum. These new cards are able to provide that and therefore should provide excellent performance when used with one of these new displays. When these come out we will definitely get one in to test the performance of these new cards at that ultra resolution.

Direct X 11 brings some really great features that help to provide an extra level of realism to video games. One of the best features of Direct X 11 is hardware tessellation. This technology provides a better geometry system that doesn't use as much power as the previous generation. Because of this it can provide much more realistic landscaped and textures in games that are enabled to make use of the new technology. When you see this for yourself it really does add quite a bit more realism to your gaming experience.

These cards also feature the latest PCI 3.0 Express interface. This new interface though won't be fully realized until the new Intel processors become available with the Ivy Bridge release. It's also possible that even then there won't be much of a performance difference because PCI Express 2.0 is still able to provide plenty of bandwidth for most situations today. PCI Express 3.0 effectively doubles the bandwidth of the previous generation I/O and if fully realized will be a big improvement. Today's video cards still haven't exceeded the bandwidth that's provided by the previous generation and therefore it's doubtful that this new interface technology will make any difference in terms of real performance though, but that is a test for another day.

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