A visual look
Interestingly, Sapphire doesn't retail a reference card design in the UK. Rather, the card is presented on a cool-looking blue PCB.
Sapphire has eschewed ATI's single-slot reference cooler for a two-slot-taking model. We're not entirely sure why this is the case, because the card's clocked in at a reference 575MHz for the core and 640 shaders, as well as 1,800MHz for the memory.
The cooler is slightly noisy in 2D mode and noisier still in 3D mode, and, worryingly, it's a touch louder than the reference model. But it should be good with respect to temperatures.
The 512MB of on-board memory is situated on this side. It's regular GDDR3, keeping costs in check.
We like the fact that Sapphire has cooled the hot-running components by using passive aluminium heatsinks. The Qimonda 1ns-rated GDDR3 RAM, however, is left bare.
A front-on shot highlights the double-height nature of the card. Power requirements are frugal enough to need only one PCIe connector. We reckon that the majority of systems with this kind of card will get away with <500W PSUs.
The rear houses the usual ports, including two dual-link DVI and seven-pin mini-DIN. Both ports can be used as conduits for 7.1-channel HDMI via adaptors, and Sapphire includes one as standard in the package.
A couple of CrossFire fingers means that another three cards can be connected for four-way CrossFireX, but this will only work if run on particular AMD 790FX motherboards. Naturally, diminishing returns means that scaling between, say, three and four cards isn't as great as going from one to two.
And here are a couple of cards, in two-board CrossFireX, on our trusty MSI X48 Platinum motherboard.
Sapphire's stock-clocked Radeon HD 4830 512MB differs from the reference by having a company-specific cooler that takes two slots. We'll see if its spatial exuberance is mitigated by lower temperatures and higher overclocks.