On the next few pages we'll show you some photos. The images were taken at high-res and then scaled down. The camera used was a Canon 450D 12 MegaPixel.
So as always we start off with packaging. The card and the rest of the contents are really well packaged. Very little chance for any damage. I like the new design of the Sapphire boxes, a nice dark and black theme. The character looks a little like the char from the game Thief.
First impression: that's a nice looking card alright. The cooler really works for me design wise. We immediately spot the three heatpipes. The product will come with a higher core clock frequency, 960 MHz opposed to 850 which is the reference clock.
When we place the card in a perspective view we spot the connectivity a little better; two DVI connectors and in the middle you'll find a 7-pin HDTV-out mini-din, a user can plug an S-video cable directly into the connector, or use a dongle for YPrPb (component) or composite outputs, or use the 3-way RCA HDTV analog connector.
Both DVI connectors are dual-link (and HDCP capable). High-def screens and high-resolution monitors are the key issues here. Dual-link DVI pins effectively double the power of transmission and provide an increase of speed and signal quality; i.e. a DVI single link 60-Hz LCD can display a resolution of 1920 x 1080, while a DVI dual-link can display a resolution up to 2560x1600 and I believe this can go even higher.
With the help of the supplied DVI to HDMI adapter you can connect the card to an HDMI HD Ready / Full HD television or monitor for good picture quality and as explained, sound over HDMI.
This card will forward 2 channel PCM or deal with 5.1 / 7.1 channels at your preference (AC3). Slightly difficult to see, but two Crossfire fingers are on the lower left corner, obviously allowing you to go for CrossfireX. The CrossfireX connectors will be supplied with the graphics card by the way.
When we flip the card on its back we spot that the PCB is colored blue, I really would have preferred black here to go along with the rest of the theme. Then again, in a modestly lit chassis blue would look black.
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