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Pros: Fast card with excellent performance/cost ratio when it works.
Cons: Power hungry and runs hot. Low life expectantcy.
Other Thoughts: I have been thinking of what I wanted to write in this review. Finally the words came to me. I used to buy NVidia's way back when in 2002-2004. However, I have been building rigs every couple of years using AMD/Radeon for nearly a decade now. However, for years, Radeon has been going the way of brute force/high power. Are they cheaper..Yes! Do they offer excellent performance to cost ratio...Yes! Unfortunately though it comes at a tradeoff with life span and a high failure rate.
I have owned 3 of these cards, a single GPU setup and a CF setup. When I tested the single GPU setup I used Valley Benchmark (extreme) and it performed very well. But after a month, I had to RMA because the card started failing little by little until VB looked like blocks. So I sent it back and ordered 2. The process repeated with the crossfire setup after a month.
So here's my train of thought now. Why should I keep buying these cards? Hey AMD...tone down the specs if need be! Just bring me a good product that performs well and reliably. It's the same reason I'm about to jump ship on Android and go Apple. I don't like Apple but I know for a fact that they perform equal or better to phones Android phones twice their specs. Why?...because they aren't bent on power hungry applications and brute power! I don't care if Android has twice the specs anymore if they are going to run hot, low battery life, clunky software, etc.... I just want you to work and be reliable!
Bringing the argument back to focus, AMD can you please do what you promise and bring a good product to us gamers? If you need to raise the prices a little and scale back the specs in order to bring me a good product, THEN DO IT! I tell you honestly, I want to keep believing in AMD/Radeon but I just might spend the extra cash and opt for NVIDIA again. Do I want to...Not really. But I will if it means that I can enjoy my games without my lawnmower engine of a card failing left and right.
A few more thoughts, Newegg's service and RMA process with these 3 cards has been excellent. In no way does this review reflect on Newegg. They even sent me free shipping labels to send the cards back.
Finally, I'm reading alot about the AMD never settle bundle. I warn you AMD, if you promise to provide free games for buying your cards and you start cheating and lying to customers by not delivering valid codes or no codes at all. I swear I will ban you from my life and never give you another bit of my buisness ever again! That goes for all you other customers....don't put up with trash like that!
My rig specs:
AMD Vishera 8320
Gigabyte UD3 Rev. 3
16Gb 1866 Sniper RAM
WD 1TB HD
Windows 7 Home Prem
Catalyst 13.4 or whatever the latest one was.
Pros: It's a great card from what I hear.
Cons: Big, Heavy, sags a bit on the MB. Fans don't kick on till it's already reached very high temps. Better to just put them on manual to a level where the noise will not bother you.
Other Thoughts: I was very disappointed that this card would not work for me. I've never purchased a Sapphire product but have seen many good things about them. However, when I needed support, I felt that their service was lacking to the point where I had "buyer beware" running through my head. This is what happened:
Saved pics and relevant info on a external HD
Removed my old XFX 5850
Inserted the new Sapphire 7870 with Boost
Performed a fresh install of Windows 7
Updated latest BIOS for my ASUS M4A78T-E
Updated to V13.6 video drivers off of the Sapphire website
Reinstalled games such as Witcher 2, BF3, Mass Effect Trilogy, Crysis
Now, the CCC reported that the video card installed was indeed the 7870 and that it had 2048Mb of RAM. The device manager also reported seeing the 7870 as the display adapter and acknowledged the correct driver installed.
However, when I attempted to play any game, I could not get the graphics to go past Low to Med specs. Auto detect hardware options on games like the Witcher 2 reported that the video card only had 768 Mb of RAM. I ran DXdiag and it also reported the video card as having approx 761 Mb of RAM. Also, while playing in windowed mode, I was monitoring the video card with the CCC overdrive monitor and the card was performing at 975/1500 Mb as advertised. However, It couldn't even outperform my old 5850 because it just didn't have much working RAM.
So I laid this all out for Sapphire on their support website and I don't feel like they really even paid attention. Someone messaged me back asking what the reading in the CCC info tab and the DXdiag reading. So I told them CCC reported 2048 and DXdiag and my games reported 768. The guy messaged back saying; well Windows calculates things weird, it should be good. WELL, it's not! That's the last he would respond. So I have no choice but to assume the video card does indeed have 2048 Mb of RAM and that 1280 Mb of it are bad.
So ultimately, I was disappointed this card would not work for me. I was really looking forward to the Tahiti GPU at the 7870 price point.
Newegg is still the cat's pajamas in my book though. I put in a submission for an RMA. If any Sapphire folks read this, maybe you could help me solve this before I send this back and maybe we can right this because as it stands, I'm not very impressed with their service and don't think I'll spring for another one of their products. However, I don't like giving a company the wag of the finger over one situation....so help a brotha out!
Pros: Lots of features, high speed processor specs, plenty of onboard storage.
Cons: Terrible software!
Low battery life!
Low quality camera!
Engineered to break!
Loaded with bloatware!
Other Thoughts: Working on an engineering team as a radio electronics tech, I have come to understand a fair amount of the engineering side of the house. However, I would not ever label myself an expert as most people shouldn't . Anyways, enough about me.
This phone turned out to be the most expensive and worst phone I ever owned. It was also my first smart phone, so double awesome there. The concept behind this phone was good. However, I quickly became ever increasingly upset with its performance. It was immediately clear as to why Motorola quickly launched the Razr Maxx. The software on the phone was sooo bogged down with bloatware that it was killing the battery. From an engineering point of view: Why would you design a super thin phone and then jam pack it with bloatware that the user neither asked for or wanted so that you have to immediately launch another phone with a larger battery to compensate for low battery life? This idiocracy...(dare I say it) destroys the whole concept of a Razr thin phone! The stupidity is almost laughable except for this phone cost me $350 plus a 2 year contract with Verizon.
First off when Motorola released the phone to Verizon, they both wanted to put their own "suite" of software on it. So in the end, they both decided to put their suite of software on and a bunch of predetermined garbage apps and disable the user's ability to get rid of them. Thus trashing the battery life.
As time wore on, the software behaved more and more bizzare. For some reason, whenever I replied to emails, it kept inserting my yahoo password in random places in the email. Why is it doing that? Plus, right smack at the one year mark, the phone started failing at Everything! The 3.5mm headphone jack just stopped working completely (no lint and lighly cleaned it with air duster). The HDMI connector kept engaging off and on putting the phone into this perpetual webtop mode. I ended up just turning it off.
My car has bluetooth so that turned into a nightmare too. If someone would call while playing music, the volume woudn't turn down and I couldn't pause the music. So I'm driving and fumbling with it (I bought a blue tooth car and phone so I don't have to do this) and then it just gets confused, shuts down, and reboots! That was the straw, it was getting confused more and more and it would just shut down. All this happened right after the warranty period. Not too get into the subject but I will say this: (it's no secret) but some companies design their electronics to fail and they are perfecting their timing! Just so you have to run right back after your warranty and purchase another one.
There really is too much to list and I don't want to ramble anymore than I have. But as a fairly knowledgeable person in the arena of software integration and radio electronics, I would steer clear of this product. It is a $100/1 year throwaway phone at best!