Sapphire ATi Radeon HD3870 Ultimate
There's nothing more dissatisfying than when everything in a computer case is silenced except the video card. Water cooling is always an option, but there's always a certain level of risk with it. Sapphire has answered this question with the Radeon HD3870 ULTIMATE video card.
The Sapphire Radeon HD3870 Ultimate features a fanless heatsink for cooling. As expected, the card is bigger than a dual-slot cooling solution, but it's well worth the sacrifice for passive cooling. The HD3870 Ultimate comes clocked in only slightly slower than the Sapphire Radeon HD3870 TOXIC, so let's see how they compare.
The Ultimate's packaging isn't unlike many other video card boxes you can pick up these days, with the exception that it holds Sapphire's own customizations. Unlike the Silver avatar on front of the Toxic, the Ultimate feature's Sapphire's lovely female avatar complete with sword and gun. To her side are the Ultimate's main features: PCI-Express Version 2, HDMI Support, HD Audio, and 512MB of GDDR4 memory.
On the rear of the box are the package's contents, which include the card and software, and a short description of the card. Sapphire describes the HD3870 as a mid-range product, which I wouldn't doubt with the price tag. The HD3870 X2 is the performer in this group.
Upon opening the box, I was greeted by something a little different. Foam was lining the top to protect the contents from being crushed, but the card itself is in a plastic case, rather than anti-static bags. I think this presentation works out a little better to impress.
Under and below the card were numerous accessories: CrossFire connectors, HDMI adapters and cables, an s-video adapter, component video cables, the instruction manual, and packaged software CD's.
Let's take the card from the casing and install it into our AMD Phenom X4-powered testing rig.
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