Sapphire 5970 Toxic Review

Conclusion

Sapphire 5970 Toxic Review

Conclusion

Sapphire have definitely pulled something out the bag with the 5970 Toxic.

They have taken a card which has always been slightly disappointing when compared to the performance of two separate GPUs, and given it such a performance boost that it's almost unrecognisable.

Starting with the most obvious visual aspect, that cooler. We can't praise it enough really. When we were overclocking the Toxic we ran Furmark to ensure stability and the card never got above 71°C at any point. All of this was achieved whilst also being very quiet, even under heavy loading. Sure it's a three slot solution, but when the results are this impressive it's hard to argue. We'll always take effectiveness over slenderness. After all, no-one is buying this to put in their HTPC case.

The accessories package also has to be noted. The inclusion of an active DisplayPort adaptor is a boon and really brings Eyefinity within the reach of anyone who can put their hands on three monitors. The great benefit also being that should you upgrade in the future it will still happily work with anything that has a DVI port on the back of it. Something all but the cheapest monitors have.

Performance is staggering. To say it's using a sledgehammer to break an egg isn't far from the truth. It just gobbles up anything you can throw in its direction whether you have it overclocked or are running it out of the box. Although it can easily take another 100 MHz overclock it's so good 'as is' that there is no game yet that really makes overclocking it worthwhile.

With performance comes cost. As I've probably made clear through this review this is priced in such a way that its only realistic competition is the Asus Ares. They are both very different solutions to the same problem. The Asus is all flash and flair, coming in a aluminium briefcase with a bright red cooler and lots of shiny copper. The Toxic is far more reserved coming in a fairly standard box and, cooler aside, looking pretty standard too. That isn't to say that it's not special, it just goes about it in a different manner. Nonetheless although it's about £400 more expensive than a standard 5970, it's also about £400 cheaper than the Ares. As the graphs show, the performance difference is so negligible that you really have to ask yourself if you want to pay £400 for a briefcase.

And that's the bottom line. You can argue the toss about value all you like. The biggest compliment we can pay, and it is a big one, is that if this had arrived before Ares we'd have looked at that differently. The Toxic is just that good.

 

   

Thanks to Sapphire for providing the 5970 Toxic for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

06-08-2010, 13:14:11

tinytomlogan
Sapphire have weighed into the ultra high-end of the graphics marketplace with their Toxic branded 5970. We take a good look.

Continue Reading

06-08-2010, 13:25:07

killablade
Wow. I'd love one of those for my system! I didn't expect it to overclock THAT well!

By the way, I see the award images have changed? (atleast for the performance award?) I like it, looks nice

06-08-2010, 14:02:25

VonBlade
Yes indeed the awards have all been updated to match the new OC3D logo. If you think the performance one is lush, wait til we bring the others out.

06-08-2010, 14:04:12

silenthill
great review but I really can't understand why in crysis warhead the asus ares kicks the ass of the toxic in the minima and average FPS even in stock clocks - what's going on here guys?

06-08-2010, 14:51:35

VonBlade
Couple of things explain that. Firstly the Toxic had a few less CPU clocks to handle the Physx, and the Toxic is a 5970 whereas the Ares is twin 5870s.

So the CPU will account for most of it, and the tiny extra theoretical grunt of the Ares gives us the few extra. If you look back at the Ares XF results you'll see that Crysis is pants no matter how much hardware you have. So really take it with a pinch of salt.

06-08-2010, 17:25:43

F-alienware
Hmm. Is it me or does that cooler either -

A. Completely rip off the Arctic Accelero Xtreme

B. Use an Arctic Accelero Xtreme.

'cos from where I am sitting it has to be one or the other.

06-08-2010, 17:30:08

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
If you look back at the Ares XF results you'll see that Crysis is pants no matter how much hardware you have. So really take it with a pinch of salt.
Why use it then? That's a polite question BTW as it could be taken out of context, but why use something that's blatantly crappy and heavily weighted toward the green corner?

It's not just OC3D. Every website is "Crysis this, Crysis that". Seriously, the game is old hat now (and I'm not saying that at your or to you, just saying it in general).

Do the manufacturers (in this case Sapphire) suggest that you use Crysis?

06-08-2010, 17:33:53

tinytomlogan
We use a range of games, some people might play Crysis and want to know what cards play it best. Metro is heavily green team weighted too. Just the way it is and we will always use what ever is POPULAR

The cooler is an AC unit.

06-08-2010, 17:57:21

F-alienware
Ah OK cheers Tom. I thought it looked like an AC Not a bad thing, best cooler for large cards ever IMO.

07-08-2010, 05:50:06

Maverick1dj
Am I reading the Crysis bench properly? How comes the Stock out performs the overclock @ Maximum for the toxic?

Also I like to see bench's for Crysis as I find it very easy to compare real performance, I use it like a control of sort, to gauge GPU real world performance, much more useful than synthetic benchies!

07-08-2010, 07:58:23

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRiMiNaLNiNJa View Post

Am I reading the Crysis bench properly? How comes the Stock out performs the overclock @ Maximum for the toxic?

Also I like to see bench's for Crysis as I find it very easy to compare real performance, I use it like a control of sort, to gauge GPU real world performance, much more useful than synthetic benchies!
yes I noticed that but it's only happening with the maximum FPS.sometimes that does happen when I OC my 480's in crysis

07-08-2010, 07:58:44

tinytomlogan
Sometime the results can be a bit strange, just the way it is dude, maybe crysis didnt like the overclock. Without spending hours researching every result we'll never know.

07-08-2010, 08:39:55

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Sometime the results can be a bit strange, just the way it is dude, maybe crysis didnt like the overclock. Without spending hours researching every result we'll never know.
This is just a suggestion I noticed some of the websites and magazines don’t put the maximum FPS they say it doesn’t reflect the true performance of the graphic card because most important in game play is the minimum and average FPS which actually shows you if you can play the game between 30FPS and 60FPS which is considered (very playable) and also the maximum FPS behaviour is very strange when overclocking the GPU so why don’t you scrap the maximum from your benchmarks to avoid these kinds of issues I know the maximum FPS shows the muscles of the GPU but it’s not really true performance.

*stop making your replies bold*

07-08-2010, 08:55:41

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthill View Post

This is just a suggestion I noticed some of the websites and magazines dont put the maximum FPS they say it doesnt reflect the true performance of the graphic card because most important in game play is the minimum and average FPS which actually shows you if you can play the game between 30FPS and 60FPS which is considered (very playable) and also the maximum FPS behaviour is very strange when overclocking the GPU so why dont you scrap the maximum from your benchmarks to avoid these kinds of issues I know the maximum FPS shows the muscles of the GPU but its not really true performance.

*stop making your replies bold*
We put all the details up fella, we are pretty sure if you are reading our reviews your not a complete nub and can formulate your own oppinions. The fact you are saying that average is more important means you dont actually 'need' us to remove the max

PS - stop bolding your replies.

22-08-2010, 08:48:55

Telltale
"The biggest compliment we can pay, and it is a big one, is that if this had arrived before Ares we'd have looked at that differently"

But the Toxic DID arrive before the Ares. You can see the date on this review is April 22nd; over 2 months before the arrival of the Ares.

*LINK REMOVED*

22-08-2010, 09:05:48

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telltale View Post

"The biggest compliment we can pay, and it is a big one, is that if this had arrived before Ares we'd have looked at that differently"

But the Toxic DID arrive before the Ares. You can see the date on this[/url] review is April 22nd; over 2 months before the arrival of the Ares.
With us matey, we had not tested it.

22-08-2010, 11:56:56

Telltale
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

With us matey, we had not tested it.
Oh ok sorry, you literally meant arriving with you, not just on the market.

30-10-2010, 03:16:36

MrHDizzla
I still don't 100% get the difference between your everyday 5970 and the ASUS Ares.... looking at the specs on AMD website it looks to me as if the 5970 has just double the specifications of the 5870..

sorry about my ignorance

30-10-2010, 07:23:33

Mr. Strawberry
holy thread revival batman

a normal 5970 is basicly 2 5870 chips underclocked to 5850 speeds

where was the ares, toxic and so on are full on 5870 chips
Reply
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