A Closer look at the card
This beautiful card measures 12.20 inches in length and is 2.13 inches deep, so it takes up 2 and 1/2 PCI slots. The fan housing is a little thick.
The card comes loaded with 2 x Display Port and 2 x HDMI 2.0b ports. The Display port supports resolutions up to 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz and HDMI resolutions of 4096 x 2160 at 60Hz.
Turning the card a bit, here we see the side of the card, and actually a few pieces are hidden until the card is actually installed into the machine and the system powered on. Let’s take a closer look at a few features here on the side of the card.
On the far-left side of the card, we find 2 interesting things. First, we find the 4-PIN connection that is part of Sapphires Turbine—X system fan control. This technology allows you to connect a two external PWM case fans having the card itself utilizing the dedicated hardware controller to intelligently adjust the speed of the connected fan. There is another along the rear of the card, but we will go over that shortly.
Next to the Turbine-X connection, we find the switch for dual BIOS’. You can select between the 2, and actually during this review we utilize it. Switching the selector, the left, allows you to utilize the base clock speeds while the right, allows you to unlock more of the voltages for ultimate overclocking.
Passing the tons of heatsink fins and tubing in between the left end of the card to the right, we can see this card requires 3 x 8-Pin PCI-e connections. The specifications of the card mention that an 850-Watt power supply is recommended. We will see a little later on in the review how many watts we consume during the benchmarks but if they say 850, it’s probably a good idea to have 850.
On the rear of the card, we find some nice shroud designs, the open portion exposing the heatsink fins and the ends of the tubing, but there is another hidden feature here.
Zooming up some, we find the other of 2 Turbine-X connections for external PWM Fans.
Not sure how much those external fans will be needed though, since this card has 3 fans cooling the GPU, VRM’s and RAM. Unlike previous AMD cards, AMD has introduced what they call Radeon Chill On.
Radeon Chill On is designed to lower temperatures, save power and lower overall system noise. When the GPU is very lightly being utilized, the fans on the card slow down even stop.
The picture above shows the card with the GPU fans in the off position while I am writing this article and aside from the other fans in this system, there is very little noise emitting from my PC. Once you start up a game, a long video or start computing the fans will rev up, but only as needed. The picture also shows some of its RGB LED Shroud Backlighting, yeah, it’s RGB lit as well but you don’t need to light it if you don’t want to. We will go over this a little later in more detail.
Not much to talk about here, though keeping up with the rest of the card, it is a bit sexy looking. Some lighting effects here as well, but again, a little later on.
OK, before we can get into the LED lighting and the performance of this card, it has to be installed into a system. In this next chapter we I will show you how to install this card, if you don’t know how and also go over installing the GPU Support bracket.