Up close with the Sapphire X800 Pro
Busily humming Britney Spears' "Toxic", we opened up the box and carefully extracted the Sapphire Toxic X800 Pro ViVo from it's plastic shell. Breaking from typical Radeon tradition, the card is built around a greenish-blue PCB instead of the red PCB used for so many others. The first thing that gets you though, is the bright orange heatsink/fan combo. Based on Arctic Cooling's VGA Silencer 4, the fan pushes air along the ductway above the VPU and RAM, cooling the copper heatsinks placed there, and then expelling the hot air out the rear of the PC. As you can image however, this requires more than one slot, as the duct terminates with an additional bracket that Sapphire provides. This unit is what Sapphire refers to as its "Lethal Cooling" system, and it's a sure bet you'll see this on their X800XT model in the future.
The back side is also covered in a large copper cutout, which makes contact with the RAM. Thus, additional passive methods are used for cooling down the memory on this side, something that Sapphire may have considered necessary considering the APE software is running the memory at 70MHz over the norm. Looking down at the card, we've got a huge Radeon sandwich - two big heatsinks covering the VPU and memory, but looking closer we can see a two-pin connector snaking along the top and poking out just above the fan. This connection is used to display temperature readings using Sapphire's Temperature Monitoring Ready (TMR) technology, similar to the Plasma Display Fan readout on Pixelview's 5900XT Golden Limited that we showcased a few months back. Alas, this display is not included in the package, so for now this won't be of much use, although third-party monitors can be purchased elsewhere. ViVo capabilities come by the way of the ATi Rage Theater chip that can also be seen on the rear of the card, a derivative of the same chips found in the All-in-Wonder series.