Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X

Discussion in 'Reviews and Articles (Archived)' started by Rob Williams, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
    1
    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    It's no secret that the Radeon HD 5870 is the fastest GPU on the planet, but what do you get when you take it, toss in a more robust cooler, quieter operation, higher clock speeds and not one, but two free games? You get the Vapor-X, from Sapphire. Despite all that it packs in above the reference version, it modestly carries just a $20 premium.

    You can read our full review here and discuss it here.
     
  2. Misha

    Misha Obliviot

    41
    0
    Jul 12, 2009
    Hi Rob, as usually, nice review.
    Can't wait to unbox mine and build whole PC!

    I bought first edition of Sapphire 5870. Vapor-x looks nice, but I’m just wondering that in your graphs, somewhere is reference card faster for a few frames? But for example, this is really huge:

    in GTA IV 1680 x 1050
    5870 Vapor-X min. 34 fps
    and Reference 5870 min 42 fps

    And that mostly continuing thru whole GTA page, but in 1680 is very obvious.
    Is that a mistake, or something other?

    Thanks for the review!
    Really can't wait to try mine!
     
  3. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

    67
    0
    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    I would have been curious to see what kind of OC you could have gotten, and the corresponding performance, using 3rd party aps on the 5870 (like rivatuner possibly?). I haven't seen anyone do a full benchmarking on a max OC 5800 yet.

    Thanks for the review though. I always like your reviews a lot.
     
  4. Misha

    Misha Obliviot

    41
    0
    Jul 12, 2009
    I thought that you have to flash bios of your 5870 if you want to go over 900MHz? Is it true?
     
  5. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
    1
    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    Those are just the minimum FPS, not the average, so they're not quite as important. The issue is that with games like GTA IV, no two runs are identical. This for the most part is a good thing, because it means the game isn't 100% scripted. It's a bad thing for benchmarking, though, because variances like these will occur. But in a case like this, I chalk it up to a non-issue.

    I tend to only re-test if the average FPS isn't as I'd expect it, because for each time I re-run a test, it's minutes more out of my day, and given that I have 7 games to benchmark, at 3 resolutions each, at least 2 times over, that's a total of 42 hands-on benchmarking runs, per GPU I test. That's a minimum, because once in a while a game will throw a curveball and force me to start over.

    I re-ran the tests though, and this time I got 38 / 67 and 39 / 66 (Min / Avg). See just how sporadic this game is with its results? This is the worst game of the bunch for this reason, but I still like to run it because it's such a total glutton. When games like Modern Warfare 2 get here, I'm going to consider replacing GTA IV with it.

    The reason I haven't is simply because it's complicated. I have never been successful in overclocking with RivaTuner, and I don't really want to get into BIOS overclocking (if the 5000 series is even supported). The best solution would be for AMD to loosen it's ridiculous restrictions. I haven't touched NVIDIA's control panel overclocking for a while, but I'm going to jump to conclusions and assume it's nowhere near as restrictive as AMD's.

    That aside, thanks for the nice comments guys... they're much appreciated :)
     
  6. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

    1,477
    0
    Nov 24, 2008
    KHI, PAK
    Awesome dude! This card is truly amazing. The 5870x2 is gonna be like....well.....no words.....
    The power consumption at idle is what is really cool!

    PS: on the review page, the top down option in the middle where u list the pages of the review it says:

    'Overclocking ATI's Radeon HD5770'
     
  7. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
    1
    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    I do that so freaking often... thanks man, fixed ;-)
     
  8. gibbersome

    gibbersome Coastermaker

    151
    0
    Sep 19, 2009
    The 5870x2 is going to be insane indeed, but still a few months away. We should see the next gen Nvidia by then.

    Great review as always, this card looks like a good buy!
     
  9. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
    1
    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    So... I just found out that there <em>is</em> an AMD graphics card overclocking tool that looks to go far beyond what ATI's Catalyst Overdrive will allow. It's called "AMD GPU Clock Tool", and judging by the screenshot, it might just become a standard overclocking tool in our AMD-based graphics card reviews. I am hoping to give the tool a go this weekend.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1641/AMD_GPU_Clock_Tool_v0.9.26.0_For_HD_5870.html
     
  10. Misha

    Misha Obliviot

    41
    0
    Jul 12, 2009
    Thanks Rob, Really nice tool.
    Here is another tool, this time from MSI!

    http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm

    I OC my 5870 a little bit.

    Must emphasis that I don't have too much experience in graphic cards overclocking, so this is my first try. My last VGA card was Ati 9800 Pro :) Don't count GT 8400 i have in other PC!

    Program is very useful, allowing to overclock over standard Catalist values, only drawback is the fact, that there is no any control for the fan, (at last i wasn't able to find one) but the tool from MSI, allows fan control.

    When you start AMD's utility, you can't access catalist "Overdrive" controls any more, so you have to combine this two programs, if you want better results.

    Here is my best score:
    It's obvious that my poor Athlon can't compete with I7 processors, so i only test GPU score! :)

    http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/4g763/
    http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=827925

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    p.s.

    I forgot, for MSI tool to become useful, you must do this:

    1. Go to installed directory of MSI Afterburner, default: C:\Program file\MSI Afterburner
    2. Use notepad to edit “MSIAfterburner.cfg”
    3. Change the parameter of “EnableUnofficialOverclocking” from “0” to “1”.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009

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