Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC
Before we take a closer look at the card, we'll reiterate that it is essentially a Radeon HD 4870 X2 cooled differently. Rather than have ourselves knee-deep in architectural analysis once again, head on over to our previous examination to learn more about the dual-GPU architecture.
If you're aware that it's basically two Radeon HD 4870 1GBs on a single board, let's move on.
Hoping to justify the big spend, Sapphire gets off to a good start with the Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC packaging. As with other recent ATOMIC products, the card arrives in a grin-inducing briefcase-turned-box that immediately gives the feeling of money well spent.
It's what's inside that counts, though, and here it is - the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATOMIC. The card sports an all-black PCB that continues the menacing look of Sapphire's air-cooled 4870 X2 and measures the same 266mm in length.
As expected, the card requires enough power to necessitate both 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors be used concurrently.
Over to the back and the dual GPUs can be seen sitting hand-in-hand. It may look practically identical to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, but the ATOMIC has a little more juice under its bonnet. Each GPU has been overclocked to 800MHz - up 50MHz from reference - and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocks in at an effective 4,000MHz - that's 400MHz quicker than reference.
The single CrossFire connector remains in place for those who have the moolah to hook up two of these monsters for true Crysis-beating frame rates.
Hello, sexy. We're used to seeing Radeon HD 4870 X2s look a little fat around the sides, but the ATOMIC edition is anything but. The GPU waterblock - which we'll come to shortly - creates a very tidy single-slot solution.
It's a shame, however, that the black styling doesn't extend to the back, and the dual DVI ports are pretty much standard.
Aside from cooling it appears near-identical to the reference HD 4870 X2, but Sapphire seems to be keeping true to its claims. The card has the credentials - on paper, at least - to be quicker, quieter and cooler than most 4870 X2s before it. Now, about that cooling solution...