Sapphire HD3870 512MB TOXIC Edition Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     May 18, 2008

Packaging and Accessories

The packaging of the Sapphire HD3870 Toxic is pretty straightforward with a Silver Surfer look-alike on the front with a bevy of logos denoting this card’s various features. Meanwhile, the back of the box runs you through yet more features in addition to some product highlights which talk about how “special” this card really is.

The one thing which surprised us the most about this box is how compact it is when compared to other manufacturer’s packaging schemes. While this will benefit you immensely when paying shipping costs, there are some of us who want a massive box when paying $200 for a product.

The exterior façade is nothing more than a fancy slip-cover since the real box is actually made of plain yet functional cardboard. Inside of this and amid a sea of foam packaging material lies the thick anti-static bag that holds the Toxic and gives you massive reminder to plug in that 6-pin PCI-E power connector. Overall, we were more than happy with the protection afforded this card even though it is housed in an amazingly small compact box.

Considering past Sapphire cards we have seen have the bare necessities when it comes to extras, the sheer number of accessories that come with the HD3870 Toxic is simply staggering. In terms of adaptors alone you get an extremely long Molex to 6-pin PCI-E cable, a component-out cable, an S-Video to composite adaptor, a Crossfire bridge and the now-famous DVI to HDMI dongle. Other than that you get a pretty well-written instruction manual.

Sapphire didn’t get stingy with the software either and you get CDs containing 3DMark06 Advanced, drivers (though it is recommended that you go to the ATI website for the latest ones) and full versions of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 7 and DVD Suite. Even though Cyberlink has now released PowerDVD 8, the older version combined with their DVD Suite is still more than enough for watching high-definition movies through your Sapphire card. In addition, we received the infamous Black Box registration card (even though somewhere wires were crossed and we got two registration numbers) with the Toxic which includes the games Half Life 2: Episode II, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. Some of you may be thinking that this offer of free Steam games is no longer valid but we had no trouble going through the registration process and receiving the games.

We have reviewed quite a few graphics cards here at Hardware Canucks and this is the first one to include a HDMI cable. While it may not be up to the picture quality standards seen with the Cobalt Cable Ultimate HDMI cable, I was using on my Pioneer TV, it was definitely better than some of the generic junk I have tried in the past. Many consumers get smacked pretty hard in the face with sticker shock when they see how much the “big box” stores charge for HDMI cables ($60 for a no-name four footer anyone?) so including this definitely earns Sapphire some brownie points in our books.

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