Sapphire Toxic X800 Pro VIVO

Review

posted 8/3/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
At E3, I met up with Sapphire Tech and was treated to an early look at the Toxic line. A combination of hardware and software, the Toxic line would help distinguish Sapphire’s card from the rest of the pack. I always like companies that try to put their own spin on cards rather than coming out with reference designs. Sapphire sent me their Toxic X800 Pro VIVO card and we run it’s though its paces.



Rather than go through the X800 Pro specs, you can read our review of the card here that’ll go through what the X800 Pro is about in case you don’t know. So let’s get to what makes this card different from the rest. Right off the bat, you can see the huge heatsink and fan combination made to keep the card really, really quiet. The large low RPM fan cools the heatsink and shoots the hot air out the exhaust. The system is similar to the old ABIT OTES card design and is in fact the Artic Cooling VGA Silencer. Sapphire has included another slot cover with grills for the exhaust. I’m a little curious as to why Sapphire didn’t just have the card built with two slot covers instead of providing one to install yourself though. It’s a minor gripe but I think the ABIT OTES approach or the VGA Silencer approach for the slot cover would’ve been a better choice.

The large translucent orange casing houses a big blue finned fan and copper heatsink. On the back of the card is a copper backplate that helps hold the fan onto the card. The combination of the two really does make this a huge card and when I was putting it into my tower case, I had to remove one of the rear fans as the backplate took up some of the space. The large casing also makes access to the AGP clip (if there is one on your motherboard) very tough so if you do try to take the card out, you have to be pretty nimble to reach the clip to push it down. Access to the molex connector isn’t too bad but the fan area does get in the way a little bit. The card is also pretty heavy with all the attachments but you do need a large cooling device to make these cards run cool enough to operate.

A plug near the top of the card allows you to connect an external display that will be available from Sapphire and monitor your card’s temperature. I do like the idea and it should help users keep track of how hot their card is getting without having to get out of the program they are running. I would’ve liked to have seen the display bundled with the card though. But you can attach any thermal display to the unit and have it read the temperature of the card. That’s good as you’re not dependent on a product from Sapphire to use the feature.
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