|Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 04 November 2008|
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Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2
ATI has learned that being the king of graphics means you must raise the bar for performance with each product release. Sapphire has taken this lesson, and engineered their own Radeon HD 4850 X2 as the latest evolution in graphics cards, and delivers a product nearly as grand as their Radeon HD 4870 X2. Benchmark Reviews has been fortunate to test the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 Dual-GPU video card 11139-00-40R against a collection of todays hottest video cards available.
At some undetermined point in late June of 2008, ATI and AMD each gained ground on the competition in small steps. AMD launched several enthusiast-level processors, lifting them up out of a wild tailspin. Around the same time, ATI launched their Radeon HD 4850video card which competes directly with the GeForce 9800 GTX. Then, after a few on-again off-again launch dates, NVIDIA and ATI did an excellent job of confusing the community with a barrage of product launches. NVIDIA came out swinging with their GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 video cards, and ATI retaliated with the Radeon HD 4870 featuring the industries first implementation of GDDR5 video memory.
Of course, none of these manufacturers simply released their products and sat on their hands. NVIDIA followed up with the GeForce 9800 GTX+, a 55nm part that would better cope with the now-popular Radeon HD 4850. Sapphire, ATI's most popular partner, answered back with a 'Toxic' version of the 4850 that offered improved performance through factory overclocking and after-market cooling. Not long afterwards, ZOTAC, and NVIDIA AIC (Add-in Card) partner, responded with their GeForce GTX 260²which updated the GPU from 192 to 216 cores. Perhaps it's only natural to have Sapphire get the last word in, with their Radeon HD 4850 X2 video card.
We live in a world where a company that produces the most powerful video card available is usually regarded as the leader in graphics technology. There is a certain amount of truth to this to be fair, but it's not always good to be the king. I imagine NVIDIA has to be getting a little tired of constantly polishing the throne in a lonely palace, especially after their recent launch of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 offered just as much to gamers as it did to multimedia editors. But what happens to everyone else who doesn't have enough gold to buy a piece of the kingdom?
The Radeon 4800-series is what happens. Ever since AMD purchased ATI, not only have times been tough for chipmakers, but our national economy has gone down the moat. Adding to the frustration for AMD was a series of flawed product launches and less-than-spectacular performance from those products that actually worked. So when you're living out in the stables with livestock, you learn to make the best of what you have. This is what it appears ATI has done with their latest Radeon HD 4850, and improved upon it by placing two RV770 GPUs on the same printed circuit board for the 4850 X2 graphics card.
About the company: Sapphire Technology
Pioneers in a new era of how data is displayed and games are played, Sapphire shepherds the performance oriented with ground-breaking solutions to an environment that remains in a constant state of flux and ultimate evolution. For over ten years Sapphire has held true to its unwavering commitment, the commitment to deliver the most feature rich and soundly engineered products. Because of Sapphire's firm position on achieving excellence with each product that leaves our ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified factories, you can rest assured that your customers will recognize YOUR commitment to selling only the highest of quality components.
"Sapphire is ATI's largest and best performing partner World Wide" Dave Orton, CEO ATI
Since ATI announced its manufacturing & distribution relationships with ODMs and AiBs in June of 2001, SAPPHIRE has been THE key ATI Graphics Boards Supplier worldwide and now stands poised and ready to capture the mainboard audience of those who seek a stable platform for their mission critical operations.
Captured within the circuitry of each of SAPPHIRE's graphic cards and mainboards can be found the collective feedback from generations of enthusiasts in every market niche. Brought to life through performance oriented innovation and an emphasis on quality control, SAPPHIRE designs, manufactures and distributes the most complete range of ATI video boards and mainboards--from the mainstream products that afford the casual user the opportunity to enjoy enriched graphics and affordable platform solutions to the state-of-the-art technological marvels that drive fantasies to before unattainable thresholds of realism, and offer the pinnacle of stability and performance! SAPPHIRE refuses to compromise quality by cutting corners at the expense of its customers experience with their products. All ATI board designs undergo a stringent layout inspection by our staff of engineers to guarantee that they represent the usual high-quality image of ATI original boards. We also enjoy the resources of a highly innovative technical department that layout complex designs to accommodate different market niches as they arise. SAPPHIRE ATI video boards have long been the reliable choice for a great number of OEMs and large System Integrators in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America based largely on our ability to meet a fast paced technical markets advancements as well as our means to produce large quantities of product.
All SAPPHIRE ATI video boards are manufactured under 100% ATI production criteria including QC and outgoing system. Our monthly video board production capacity can reach a lofty 1.8 million and often topples this landmark figure. Our factory has always been the major manufacturer on ATI boards for most of the top ten tier 1 OEMs worldwide. With this background, you should undoubtedly be guaranteed of the impeccable quality, production capacity and product reliability of all ATI video boards and mainboards from SAPPHIRE. Be they business oriented or something just off center of the crosshairs, Sapphire has a solution for you and we look forward to an exciting and prosperous relationship with you!