Sapphire 4850x2 2GB PCIe Graphics Card

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance

The outer sleeve of the packaging makes no bones of the fact that this a premium product. A scantly clad Elvin female adorns the front of the package along with a 2GB emblem, signifying that this is indeed the 2GB model and not the cheaper 1GB model also available. The side and rear of the package go into greater detail regarding the features of the card. Removing the glossy outer sleeve and then opening the plain inner box we arrive at a well packed, foam reinforced graphics card.

outer sleeve back sleeve

side box inner box

Underneath the main unit is yet another box containing a basic set of accessories. Notable by its omission are 6 and 8 pin adaptors required to power the card should your PSU not have already these connections. To make up for that loss, Sapphire have included a copy of Futuremark Vantage which should soften the blow should you manage to get the card going. A crossfire bridge, HDMI and DVI adaptors and an S-Video dongle are also included.

accessories inner package
The product is protected by a thick anti-static bag which should stave off any damaging electricity and finally, we come to the card itself. The card itself is huge, measuring 28.5cm in length and it's also a dual slot design. Bigger than both the GTX280 and its bigger brother, the 4870x2 this card is the largest mainstream GPU on the market today.The main cooler on top is a black anodised aluminium affair which should dissipate heat much better than the plastic casing of the previous generation of x2 GPU's. The rear of the card also has an extra heatsink cooling the power circuitry which may be an issue for crossfire slots situated within one PCI slot of one another.

card front card back

The I/O plate has four DVI slots as well as an S-Video output. The four DVI slots will certainly come in useful for those with a multi monitor setup but consideration should be given to the fact that at present, Crossfire only supports dual monitor setups.
On the rear of the card we see the 2 heatsinks cooling the mosfets, one on top and one underneath.

back plate card rear

side1 side2
The fans are attached both to the shroud and the heatsink which should cut down on any potential noise through vibration but as the fans are only 80mm in size and have 9 deep-cut fins I suspect I may be needing some form of ear defenders when both are revved up to 100%. As this is a high end card, it requires high end power with both a 6 and 8 pin PCIe cable required.

fan power
As you can see, compared to an Nvidia 280GTX, the 4850x2 is over 1cm longer which may present some fitting problems for those with small/midi ATX cases. The only mainstream card that betters this card for size was the 7900GX2 before Nvidia saw the error of their ways and managed to shrink it down with the 7950GX2. As this 4850x2 is not a reference design we may see smaller versions become available in the future but for the time being, the Sapphire 4850x2 is the only 4850x2 on the market so ensure you have enough space before buying one otherwise it might be time to dust off the jigsaw.

comparison measurement
Let's strip the card of its aluminium shroud to see what treasures lie beneath...
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Most Recent Comments

27-12-2008, 17:27:12

Awesome card.

You should have also compared it to a Radeon HD 4870x2 to see the difference between the reds.

At 1600x1200, the GTX280 had double the frames of the 4850x2 in Crysis.

More driver problems?Quote

27-12-2008, 17:34:56

Very intresting, can't beleive I'm saying this but the high end ATI cards especialy the 4870x2 are getting more and more tempting and with this card I guess once the drivers are ironed out its likely to be good.

The GTX295 so far hasn't impressed me much, I'd like to have seen a single card solution as in a sucessor to the GTX280 however it's somewhat unfair to jump to conclusions just yet.

So I we will wait and see but judging by the previous 9800 GX2 wich I owned but wasn't overly impressed by, I don't like the layout idea of two cards linked with an internal SLI connector....I'm sure you will be able to give us the low down on that soon enough though any dates on a review webbo???

Good ReviewQuote

27-12-2008, 17:44:22

Due to it being the xmas period we won't have any GTX295's to report on just yet but as the impending release date is expected to be mid/late January I would expect to read a review around that time .Quote

27-12-2008, 17:46:37

will keep an eye outQuote

27-12-2008, 17:59:32

Meh... Noisy, bad driver support (worse than ATi itself... WOW) and about equal performance to the gtx280. Not to mention the fact that 2 cores on one card are harder to custom cool with air.

I was once hoping to go 4850x2, but now the only option I would remotely consider is another 4850 or a gtx260 216.

EDIT: good review though ^^Quote

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