Sapphire HD 4870 Toxic review

  • £130

Sapphire gives the 4870 a major dose of steroids

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Our Verdict

Fast, quiet, good value and great looking, this card is far from Toxic

For

  • Almost as fast as an HD4890
  • Silent and good looking

Against

  • Newer cards available
  • More expensive than a vanilla HD4870

Since the Toxic edition of the HD4870 is £30 more expensive than the stock version and it has three key improvements over the latter, it follows that if each one is worth ten pounds of your money, then this is the card to buy.

For a start, it comes with the full fat 1GB of memory, and while it may not allow the card to achieve stratospherically higher scores than the 512MB HD4870, the gap between this and the HD4850 is the difference between playable and not playable at high quality settings – even though both are saddled with the same number of ROPs. It's absolutely worth the investment of ten pounds if you are running a larger monitor.

That's helped, of course, by the second advantage of the Toxic. The elegant heatsink isn't just lovely to look at if you have a window in your case, it cools the card sufficiently that Sapphire has upped the clockspeeds by a notch too – and opens up headroom for you to do the same again. That overclock doesn't make as much overall difference as the extra memory, but it does help to close the gap between this card and the higher spec HD4890 to something almost negligible. Again, we'd sacrifice a round at the pub for that.

The final part of the package is what seals it for us, though. The Vapor-X cooler doesn't just let the card run faster, it's damned near silent too. That's almost worth the extra £30 alone if your ears are as fan battered as ours have become over the years.

Compared to its closest NVIDIA rival, the GTX260, the Toxic edition of the HD4870 has the edge too. They're priced identically, and performance is hard to tell apart, but in the few benchmarks where one card has a clear advantage it's this one.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerATI
Chipset Model4870
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 4000
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory512 MB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width256 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DVI Outputs2
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed1000 MHz
Product Model11133-06-20R
Product NameRadeon HD 4870 TOXIC Edition Graphics Card
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part Number11133-06-20R
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sapphiretech.com/en/
Marketing Information

The SAPPHIRE HD 4870 TOXIC Edition features the award winning - and SAPPHIRE exclusive -Vapor-X cooler, SAPPHIRE's implementation of Vapor Chamber Technology (VCT). This advanced cooling solution is used for the core logic and together with three heatpipes and thermally controlled fan venting outside the case provides more efficient and quieter cooling than competing solutions for this generation of high performance graphics.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 4870 TOXIC Edition Graphics Card
  • 1 x ATI CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect cable per board
API SupportedDirectX 10.1, OpenGL 2.0