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Sapphire HD 4850 X2 Video Card Review

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Introduction

The new Radeon HD 4850 X2 that is being launched today is simply two Radeon HD 4850 video cards in a single board working in CrossFire mode, being a cheaper option to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which is the most expensive video card available today, and priced to compete with GeForce GTX 280. How is the performance of Radeon HD 4850 X2 compared to GeForce GTX 280 and other high-end video cards? Does it provide a good cost/benefit ratio? That is what we will see in our review.

On Radeon HD 4850 X2 each GPU has 1 GB GDDR3 memory, so the card has a total of 2 GB – most Radeon HD 4850 models have 512 MB. The clocks and specs are the same.

Two things caught our eye on Sapphire’s model. First was the fact that Sapphire decided to use its own cooler instead of using the infamous standard cooler designed by ATI/AMD, which is heavy and known to heat a lot, increasing the temperature inside your PC. This cooler uses two individual aluminum heatsinks with copper base and an aluminum cover holding the two fans. This makes the card to run cooler, to be lighter and to have a more stylish design.

The second thing was the fact that this is the first video card we’ve seen with four DVI connectors. All other X2-style video cards have only two DVI connectors, just like regular video cards. So you can install up to four video monitors directly to this video card. Keep in mind that multiple monitors only work when you are not playing games, as when the system is in CrossFire mode video is generated on only one of the connectors.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2Figure 1: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2Figure 2: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2Figure 3: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2Figure 4: Four video connectors.