In today’s market, both ATI and NVIDIA are pulling out all the stops when it comes to high-end performance graphics. Video cards like the Radeon 4870 X2 and GeForce GTX 295 are perfect examples of this, with a price tag to match. Given the current state of the economy, many people are looking for high performance without the big hit to the wallet. It is to this end that we have the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2, a dual GPU solution on a single PCB, similar to the 4870 X2. I think it is worth noting that Sapphire is the only manufacturer to build and sell the 4850 X2, which gives them a leg up on other ATI add-in card vendors looking to compete with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 200 series.
In the $300 price segment, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850×2 can’t be accused of bringing a knife to a gunfight; with 1600 Stream processors, 2GB of GDDR3 memory running at 993MHz, and two GPU’s clocked at 625MHz all packed on the massive 11 1/4″ single PCI-Express circuit board, the HD 4850 X2 is ready to go against NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX280, as well as today’s most popular games. Let’s take a look and see what Sapphire brings to the table in their HD 4850 X2…
Upon first look at the card, I was impressed to find that the fan shroud was not the standard plastic piece found on many cards, but instead a brushed aluminum housing looking sexy in black. Being made of aluminum should help to further dissipate the heat created beneath it. Behind the cover, we see the dual fans tasked with keeping the pair of ATI 4850 GPU’s cool.
Looking at data end of the card, we see the 4, yes 4, Dual-Link DVI ports and the S-Video/video breakout connector. This is an incredible amount of connectivity; don’t forget about the added ability to utilize those without having to toggle between CrossFire modes!
At the other end, we see that the Sapphire 4850×2 requires both an 8 pin and a 6 pin PCI-Express connector to power things. Don’t worry if your power supply is a little short on connectors, as mine was — Sapphire takes care of you with molex to PCI-Express adapters for both plugs in the box.
Speaking of… let’s go ahead and take a look at the retail box and bundle.