Overclocking & Our Conclusion
While the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro did come with Sapphire's proprietary A.P.E technology, we opted to take matters into our own hands to see what this card was capable of. Using the latest edition of Powerstrip, we started pushing the card to find its top speeds.
After a fair amount of trial and error, we found the sweet spot for this particular card to be a core speed of 500MHz with the GDDR3 memory topped out at 1000MHz DDR. This resulted in a core clock speed increase of 17.65% and memory clock speed increase of 16.25%. Once we were satisfied these were the top speeds achievable with this card, we ran the Half-Life 2 test again with 4X Anti-aliasing and 8X Anisotropic Filtering at 1280x1024. In the end, we gained an additional 6.5 FPS, or 10%.
The Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro left us with mixed feelings. With regard to its bundle and overall construction, the product initially presented very well, but as we dug deeper, it lost some of its appeal. While the bundle was decent, with several good games that most potential buyers will probably find enjoyable, the black light kit seemed like more of an afterthought. We also felt the overall quality of the card's "Lethal Cooling" apparatus wasn't quite up to par with the competition, although it did do what it was supposed to do. Lastly, the package lacked detailed documentation that explained how to use T.M.R. (Sapphire's Temperature Monitoring Ready Technology), as well as information on how to obtain the necessary display to use it.
From a performance standpoint, the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128 performed well for a card in its class, only struggling with some of the more intense, newer gaming titles like Doom 3 and FarCry. Naturally, more on-board memory would have helped, but as the performance shows, if you want to save a few dollars, you should be in decent shape with the 128MB card we tested here. As long as you are not looking to game at relatively high resolutions with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled, the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128 will serve you well.
Overall, we found the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128 to be a capable card with a fair amount of extras. We especially liked its near silent operation, and its difficult to complain about the card's price / performance ratio. If you are in the market for a quiet, mid-range graphics card that can handle a fair amount of gaming, the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128 is a valid option. However, with a current selling price hovering around $195, the price is a bit steep for a 128MB card. When we looked for 256MB equivalents with less elaborate cooling, we found a few for around $185. And 128MB GeForce 6600 GTs are also available for even less than that. In light of all this we're giving the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro 128 a Hot Hardware Heat Meter rating of 7.5.