Conclusion: As we mentioned in our introduction, it's been quite a long wait for the Radeon HD 4850 X2 to hit retail, but thankfully Sapphire have finally brought us out of our misery by introducing this SKU themselves - so, has it been worth that several month wait? In a word, yes - The lack of direct competition for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280 has been arguably one of the biggest chinks in AMD's graphics board line-up ever since the Radeon HD 4800 series first saw the light of day,...
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 TOXIC 512MB video card review
25 March 2012
Conclusion: As we mentioned right at the start of this article, we already know plenty about what makes the Radeon HD 4850 such a tempting graphics upgrade proposition, thus today's question is - What makes Sapphire's TOXIC board a better choice? From a pure clock speed point of view the Radeon HD 4850 TOXIC only really succeeds in improving clocks to broadly the same level that we've already seen on other reference-based boards via overclocking, so if you're happy to overclock a...
Conclusion: Well, what a difference a new graphics architecture makes. Ever since the dawn of the DirectX 10 era, we've been mired in disappointment when it comes to AMD's graphics solutions - While they've often managed to provide the exciting new features (such as HDMI support and DirectX 10.1) first, they simply haven't been able to do so at the kind of performance levels that would allow for them to truly challenge NVIDIA on anything more than those particular bullet points.
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 512MB Vapor-X video card review
25 March 2012
Conclusion: As we mentioned in our introduction, the Radeon HD 4850 has become like a pair of comfy old slippers, so well-versed are we in what it's capable of. In short, gaming at 1680x1050 is a breeze even with anti-aliasing in place, and quite frequently 1920x1200 isn't beyond the realms of possibility either, serving up excellent performance at its particular price point.
Summary: Despite running at a higher clock speed than the 4870-family boards, the GDDR3 on the 4850 transfers half as much data per clock cycle. With a street price that’s less than $300, the 4850 X2 is a great deal for owners of lower-resolution 22-inch monitors. However, if you use a 24-inch or 30-inch panel, it’s probably worth ponying up for a card with a peppier memory pipeline.
Pros: Killer performance for $300. Four DVI ports! Faster than a GTX 280.
Cons: GDDR3 hurts memory bandwidth. Four DVI ports leave no room for rear exhaust vents.
Excerpt: So did Sapphire fill a niche void and provide a card to the consumer that wanted a dual core card without the killer huge price? You bet. This card at around US$275-$300 at the time of this review is a great deal and will have anyone enjoying the latest games with higher resolutions and quality settings while still providing decent framerates.
Summary: Sapphire has been making some of the best ATI-based video cards for a while, and the Sapphire 4850 X2 is no exception. The board is well constructed, and the heatsinks are better than what you expect for OEM. Because of the layout of the board (namely the bridge chip in the center), you will be limited on the third-party heatsinks that will fit.
The board absolutely screams past competition from nVidia, but only in games that fully support Crossfire mode.
Summary: When looked at from a pure performance standpoint, then the Sapphire HD 4850 X2 is among the top cards on the market. It beats the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 by about 3%. What is also very interesting is that in higher resolutions the HD 4850 X2 can also beat the bigger brother, the HD 4870 X2. The exact cause of this is unknown, but my educated guess is that it has to do with the slower timings of the GDDR5 memory on the HD 4870 X2.
Pros: Great performance, Lots of overclocking potential left, Better average performance per Dollar ratio than GTX 280, Beats HD 4870 X2 in high resolutions, DirectX 10.1 support
Cons: Extremely noisy card, CrossFire does not work in windowed 3D, Hot air not exhaust out of the case, Complex overclocking process, Dual GPU design - depends on optimum driver support, Long PCB, No support for CUDA/PhysX
Summary: There you have it, a video card that will run you approximately $200.00 and
is able to handle everything we tossed at it in remarkable fashion. I
admit it is not a 3870 X2 video card, but it also does not cost as much as one
either. If you are in the market for a video card that will work just a
good as a HTPC component or a gaming card then the Sapphire HD 4850 is the card