Sapphire 5970 Toxic Review
Published: 5th August 2010 | Source: Sapphire | Price: around £800 |
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.