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Maximum PC Staff

Nov 17, 2009

Sapphire Radeon HD 5870

At A Glance

Edgy

Fast 3D gaming performance; two bundled games

Lame

Warranty support requires return to retailer; price

Sapphire’s take on the Radeon HD 5870 is pretty much middle-of-the-road

As with all Radeon HD 5870s, Sapphire’s version offers superlative performance, making it one of the fastest single-GPU cards available today. At its core is AMD’s 2.15 billion transistor Cypress chip, coupled with 1GB of 1,200MHz GDDR5 memory. Two DVI, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort connection allow for flexible monitor attachment.

Sapphire is bundling two games with this card: Dirt 2 and Battlestations: Pacific. Dirt 2 is one of the first titles to support Microsoft’s DirectX 11 graphics API, so it should show off the visual chops of the new GPU. As with all HD 5870 cards, the Sapphire HD 5870 is just over 10.5 inches long, so be sure the card will fit in your case before buying.

Sapphire’s two-year warranty is a little different than most others’; rather than returning the card to Sapphire, the company prefers you return it to the original retailer.

In the end, Sapphire’s take on AMD’s hot new GPU is pretty much like all the others—the fastest card you can get for the money, modest power use when it’s not running a game, and a cost below $400. Overall, it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

Review Roundup:

XFX Radeon HD 5870 HID Radeon HD 5870

Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Asus EAHH5850

Diamond Radeon HD 5850 Sapphire Radeon HD 5850

Gigabyte 260 GTX Super OC HIS Radeon HD 5770

(Back to the main feature)

Benchmarks

Sapphire 5870 EVGA 285 GTX SSC
3DMark Vantage Performance
17,097
13,941
3DMark Vantage Extreme
8,212
6,276
HAWX (fps)
69
62
Far Cry / Action (fps) 62
47
Far Cry 2 / Ranch Long (fps)
74
56
Battle Forge / DX10 (fps) 48
46
Crysis / DX10 (fps) 31
22
Resident Evil 5 (fps)
100
87
X3: Terran Conflict (fps)
101
93
STALKER: Clear Skies (fps)
36
27

Best scores are bolded. All games were run at 1920x1200 with all detail levels maxed out and 4x AA enabled. Anisotropic filtering was also enabled in game, where available.

THE VERDICT

Sapphire Radeon HD 5870

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