Sapphire 4850x2 2GB PCIe Graphics Card
Packaging & Appearance
Packaging & Appearance
The outer sleeve of the packaging makes no bones of the fact that this a premium product. A scantly clad Elvin female adorns the front of the package along with a 2GB emblem, signifying that this is indeed the 2GB model and not the cheaper 1GB model also available. The side and rear of the package go into greater detail regarding the features of the card. Removing the glossy outer sleeve and then opening the plain inner box we arrive at a well packed, foam reinforced graphics card.
Underneath the main unit is yet another box containing a basic set of accessories. Notable by its omission are 6 and 8 pin adaptors required to power the card should your PSU not have already these connections. To make up for that loss, Sapphire have included a copy of Futuremark Vantage which should soften the blow should you manage to get the card going. A crossfire bridge, HDMI and DVI adaptors and an S-Video dongle are also included.
The product is protected by a thick anti-static bag which should stave off any damaging electricity and finally, we come to the card itself. The card itself is huge, measuring 28.5cm in length and it's also a dual slot design. Bigger than both the GTX280 and its bigger brother, the 4870x2 this card is the largest mainstream GPU on the market today.The main cooler on top is a black anodised aluminium affair which should dissipate heat much better than the plastic casing of the previous generation of x2 GPU's. The rear of the card also has an extra heatsink cooling the power circuitry which may be an issue for crossfire slots situated within one PCI slot of one another.
The I/O plate has four DVI slots as well as an S-Video output. The four DVI slots will certainly come in useful for those with a multi monitor setup but consideration should be given to the fact that at present, Crossfire only supports dual monitor setups.
On the rear of the card we see the 2 heatsinks cooling the mosfets, one on top and one underneath.
The fans are attached both to the shroud and the heatsink which should cut down on any potential noise through vibration but as the fans are only 80mm in size and have 9 deep-cut fins I suspect I may be needing some form of ear defenders when both are revved up to 100%. As this is a high end card, it requires high end power with both a 6 and 8 pin PCIe cable required.
As you can see, compared to an Nvidia 280GTX, the 4850x2 is over 1cm longer which may present some fitting problems for those with small/midi ATX cases. The only mainstream card that betters this card for size was the 7900GX2 before Nvidia saw the error of their ways and managed to shrink it down with the 7950GX2. As this 4850x2 is not a reference design we may see smaller versions become available in the future but for the time being, the Sapphire 4850x2 is the only 4850x2 on the market so ensure you have enough space before buying one otherwise it might be time to dust off the jigsaw.
Let's strip the card of its aluminium shroud to see what treasures lie beneath...
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