These days passively cooled graphics cards aren’t exactly the norm, but Sapphire has made something of a name for itself in the past for its passively cooled models and the new Radeon HD 7770 Ultimate from the company is going to reinforce this further. The company went as far as to design a custom PCB to be able to passively cool the card and this is one of the more interesting graphics cards we’ve seen at Computex.
There’s nothing special about the Radeon HD 7770 Ultimate in terms of clock speeds, memory or even connectivity, but flip the card over and you’ll notice the unusual PCB design. The PCB is low profile for the most part, but a short section between the bracket and the rest of the card is full height and houses the CrossFire bridge connector and a 6-pin power connector. That’s right, the power connector and the power regulation circuitry is at the front of this card.
This peculiar PCB design allows Sapphire to fit a large heatpipe cooler with no less than four heatpipes that stretches the entire length of the card. This allows the card to run almost as cool as an actively cooled card as long as the airflow in the chassis is up to scratch. We have a feeling that this will be a really popular product for Sapphire, as although modern graphics cards are quieter than they were a few years ago, fans still fail and there are plenty of people that prefer passive cooling over active cooling.
Kitguru says: Sapphire's Ultimate cards have always proven popular, this should sell well.