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Sapphire HD7870 W/ Boost (Tahiti LE) Review

The Sapphire box showcases the ‘army lass' that has featured on several of their boxes in recent months. She is locked and loaded, complete with wonder bra.

The bundle is as good as we would expect from Sapphire. They include several video and power converters, as well as a user manual, HDMI cable and Crossfire connector.

The Sapphire HD7870 Tahiti card is built around a bright blue PCB with twin fan cooling system. The cooler is black, and the copper heatpipes can be seen from an angled viewpoint. The rear I/O plate has the name ‘Sapphire' cut into the metal. We would have preferred the card to be built on a matching black PCB, but this is just personal taste.

The card is Crossfire capable in a 2 way configuration. There is a dual bios switch close by, which is handy.

The Sapphire HD7870 takes power from two 6 pin PCIe connectors.

The card features a single DVI port, a full sized HDMI port and two mini Displayports. This card is EyeFinity capable, as expected. Hot air will be expelled out the rear of the cooler which is always good to see.

The twin fan cooler is formed around a copper base which runs into four thick 8mm heatpipes. These heatpipes run into two separate racks of aluminum fins on either side of the core. Sapphire have included dedicated cooling for the VRM's. The upper row of GDDR5 is cooled directly via the same plate that cools the core.

This card is not based on the Pitcairn XT core, but a ‘cut down’ version of the more expensive Tahiti core. This HD7870 ‘Tahiti LE’ version we know is built from 4313M Transistors (like the 7900 series) and has an upgraded 1,536 shader count. The HD7950 has 1,792 shaders and the earlier HD7870 has 1,280 shaders. In this regard the new HD7870 edition slots firmly half way between the standard HD7870 and HD7950.

There are also now 24 SIMD units, up from 20 on HD7870 and less than the HD7950 (which has 28). The ROP count has not changed from 32, although there are now 96 texture units, up from 80 on the HD7870 but still less than the 112 count on the HD7950.

The core is clocked at 975mhz and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1,500mhz (6Gbps effective) connected via a 256bit memory interface.

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