Conclusion: It doesn't seem like that long ago that we used to complain about the lack of variation in graphics boards from ATI's AIB partners, back in the days when factory overclocking such parts was all but outlawed, and custom cooling solutions were equally rare.
Summary: The overall performance of the Sapphire Radeon HD3870 Toxic was very similar to the MSI RX3870, with only the Powercolor slightly in front. It performed without any problems, producing very good scores during all our benchmarks.
Summary: Sapphire's new Vapor-X cooler is doing a pretty good job at keeping the card cool. During our testing we observed similar temperature levels compared to the HD3870 reference design, which uses a dual-slot cooler.
Pros: Single slot cooling!, Great performance, Excellent presentation, metal case, Lots of accessories, Overclocked out of the box, Low power draw, HDMI+HDCP+Audio, PCI-E 2.0 support
Cons: No highest end offering from AMD/ATI, High price, Limited additional overclocking
Summary: While the naming scheme may suggest that the HD 3870 is AMD's new king of the hill, it is not. Certainly the card performs better in some benchmarks than the 2900 XT, but not always. Also a difference of 970 (= 3870-2900) suggests that this is a much faster product.
Pros: Solid performance, Low power draw, Affordable, Software bundle included, full version of 3DMark06 Pro!, 256 bit memory interface, DirectX 10.1 Support, PCI-E 2.0 support, HDMI+HDCP+Audio+UVD, CrossFire and CrossFireX capable
Cons: Two slot cooling, Still no highest-end card from AMD, Not faster than 8800 GT which is $249 too