Sapphire HD3870 Ultimate 3870 Video Card

smallBased off of the RV670 chipset is the Sapphire Ultimate 3870 video card. This card many not be overclocked like the Toxic we reviewed a few weeks back. This means it won’t perform at the same level of the Toxic did, but the major thing the Ultimate has over the Toxic is silence. Combined with 512MB of GDDR4 and Shader 4.1, silence isn’t the only feature the card has that it can boast about. Just how well does it match up against the Toxic mode? Read on to find out.


Closer look

There are various methods available for cooling a graphic processor.  Some vendors go to the extreme with using water.  On this note, Sapphire has a water-cooled 3870 x2 available. The unit we received from Sapphire does the job without the aid of water or fans. The Ultimate uses an impressive passive cooler to cover the RV670 GPU chipset.



The heat pipes take the heat and moves it to the rear of the card. The heat escapes into the open area that occupies the under regions of the case. In some cases there is usually a fan blowing in this area that would definitely aid in heat dissipation. Regardless of fans or open air this setup is great for anyone looking for silence.

heat pipes


The GPU and ram chips are covered by a single aluminum plate. With the way this cooler is designed, it is similar to CPU coolers where the base of the cooler is not directly attached to the fins, but raised high to dissipate heat.

small sink


The back of the card has two Dual-Link DVI and a single S-Video connection, and from the looks of the rear I/O plate you would think this is a single slots card. Which is to a point as the larger side of the heat sink would be towards the CPU socket leaving you able to use the next slot below.


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