Author: Bob Buskirk
The Radeon HD 7850 is one of the best offerings in its segment. These new 7-series cards from AMD definitely hit that sweet spot between performance and price. Being based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next Architecture you get features like Eyefinity 2.0, HD3D, Power Tune Technology and much more. Since the 7850 reference cards have been out for a while we expected to see custom cards come along and this card from Sapphire is one such card. When it comes to custom cards companies usually create their own custom PCB, factory overclock the card or come up with a custom cooling solution. Sapphire did all three with this card!
Since Sapphire has created their own custom PCB they were able to make the card shorter than the reference card by about 31mm or 1.23-inches. This is going to allow you to fit it inside smaller cases, especially small LAN party and HTPC cases. So that is something you are going to want to think about. Since the card is smaller Sapphire was able to use their own Dual-X cooler, which features 2 cooling fans and 2 larger copper heatpipes. When in operation it is whisper quiet, which many people will appreciate. Sapphire has also factory overclocked the card by bumping the core clock up to 920MHz and the memory to 1250MHz, which will give you a slight performance boost over the reference card.
Currently this card is selling for $249 at my favorite online retailer. That puts it at a $10 premium over Sapphire’s own normal HD 7850 card. Believe me the extra $10 is worth it for the added performance.
Again Sapphire is given us a proven card that not only performs but is cool, quiet and has a custom PCB. That is why I have no problem giving it a perfect 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
- Custom PCB, which is shorter than the reference
- Factory overclock
- Custom cooling solution, which is very quiet
- Only $10 more expensive than the non-overclocked card
- None that I found