The Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Toxic 512MB Up Close
The Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Toxic 512MB graphics card came with a retail package virtually identical to that of the more affordable Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB that we recently evaluated. Both models came with an installation manual, drivers/installation CD as well as bonus software including PowerDVD 7 6-Channel and a PowerDVD Suite which includes PowerProducer 4, PowerDirector 5 Express and Power2GO 5.5. Sapphire also included a copy of FutureMark 3DMark06 for those looking to benchmark their new graphics card.
Before we move on to testing the card in our benchmarking segment, we'd like to briefly explain the Vapor-X's vapor chamber technology. In a nutshell, the Vapor-X's vapor chamber technology is based around a solid copper sink that is backed by a chamber of liquid refrigerant. As the copper sink heats, that heat causes the refrigerant to boil, and in turn it vaporizes, pulling the heat away from the sink. The heat is then transferred to the fins to be wisked away by the the fan, which continually adjusts its speed based on the temperature of the GPU. As the vapor cools, it changes back to a liquid, repeating the cycle. This solution delivers a quieter option compared to the stock Radeon dual-slot cooler designs while maintaining proper airflow at all times.