An absolutely amazing graphics card from Sapphire using the fabled ATI HD 4870 GPU.
I bought this graphics card to fit into my new build PC. The height and length on the card meant it fitted perfectly into my very tight HTPC case. The HD 4870 was my chip of choice as for its performance it is easily one of the best value chips out there. The reason I chose this particular card was due to my previous experience of owning a Sapphire graphics card. With its 1GB of graphics memory it is above the norm for this chip.
Once installed this card really showed its power. I play a lot of high end games and this card handles them at a respectable resolution. For its price this graphics card really is one of the best out there. Its not too noisy at high loads and almost silent at low loads.
Whether you are looking for a graphics card to play hi def movies or play high end games this graphics card should be top of your list. It will fit into pretty much every case out there and is perfect for pretty much any PC.
I would recommend this graphics card too anyone.
Bought this card to replace my ailing 8600GT, as I'd never had a proper gaming PC up until now, this thing has worked wonders. Straight out of the box you've got the card itself, drivers, extra cables, all the stuff you need. However the card takes up two slots, so make sure you have the room. The card performs extremely well for the price, and is perfect for a gamer on a budget. Slap this thing in a PC along with a good dual core and you have a gaming PC that'll last you a while. The card is capable of running both present and past games extremely well, and the latest drivers from AMD work wonders for performance, although some of their driver releases can be a bit unstable as they tinker a lot. Make sure you have the proper stuff to make this work, you need a good 500 watt PSU at least. Finally, just to show it's power, this thing is capable of running Crysis pretty smoothly on high/very high, and you can run Far Cry 2 on ultra high easy with a smooth framerate. Overall, a quality card that has completely surpassed my expectations, and offers great bang for your buck! Worth the buy, definitely.
I bought this graphics card when it first came out, and I have been very impressed with it so far considering its my first ATi product for quite a few years. However, comparing it to other graphics cards that are available on the market now, this would not be a wise choice.
Firstly, NVidia have released an updated GTX260 that surpasses this cards performance, and secondly I would opt for the 1GB option. Upto resolutions of 1680*1050, with a little AA and AF this card handles everything, including Crysis at a mixture of High and Very High details. But if you go beyond that, it runs out of memory on the card and the frame rate starts to stutter, providing an inconstant gaming experience. Having said all this, it is only in Crysis I have had this issue, but as games become more and more demanding it is something to consider.
This card should also be noted that it can run the Folding @ Home application (made by Stanford University), which simulates protein folding to help fight cancer. It is far superior to CPU folding, getting on average 3700 points per day, but again trails in comparison to NVidia products of similar price, which get around 5000-6000PPD.
This card generates a lot of heat too - checking the Catalyst Control Center it usually gets to around 88 degrees celcius during load, and you can really feel it out of the exhaust of the PC!!!
The ATi Catalyst drivers are great, they work just as well, if not better than NVidia's forceware, and it's nice getting a monthly update.
Overall, it was a great card on purchase, but I would opt today for the 1Gb model just for the extra future-proofing or if you game at a higher resolution.
Finally an ATI card that manages to break the Nvidia stranglehold on the graphics card market. This card is exceptional value being able to cope admirably with all the top games, at decent settings, I use it to power a 24inch / 22 inch dual monitor setup and I couldnt be happier with its performance.
Performance wise this card is very similar to the GTX 260, however its cheaper, so for those on a tight budget wanting to be able to play the best games then this is the ONLY choice to make, you will not be disappointed.
Despite the processing power this card is extremely quiet, however it does run quite hot, but having run my card now for 3 months, for 18 hours a day on average, I have had no overheating problems at all.
In conclusion, for those wanting top notch gaming potential at a price that would have been unheard of less than a year ago this is the card to go for, take the plunge and you wont be disappointed.
EDIT: Just to add, I have since added this review to ciao.com.
The ATI Radeon HD 4870 series GPU brings the power of graphics supercomputing to gamers, setting an advanced standard for visual computing. Redefine the way you play and take HD gaming to the extreme with best-in-class performance. The TeraScale graphics engine delivers an immersive, cinematic gaming experience. Add this GPU to your PC and watch Blu-ray movies and play HD content with incredible visual fidelity. Do it all with break-through efficiency that doesn't compromise performance.
The ATI Radeon HD 4870 series GPU delivers a cinematic gaming experience with unprecedented performance. The powerful TeraScale graphics will propel you deep into your game play with seamless frame rates and high resolutions. Enhanced Anti-Aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering create striking graphics with unparalleled realism so you can max out the settings of the most demanding next-generation games or revitalize your favorite titles. Play today while preparing for tomorrow with tessellation, support for DirectX 10.1 and scalable ATI CrossFireX technology.
Like its predecessors, the ATI Radeon HD 4870 series GPUs offer optimal performance and break-through efficiency with platform-independent intelligent power management. ATI PowerPlay delivers the power needed to blaze through even the most intense games while intuitively conserving energy at idle or when demand is low.