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Sapphire ATI HD4850x2

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May 11, 2009 3:51:25 PM

Hello everyone :) 

First I want to complain about my new HD4850x2 build quality.
It's mostly about PCBit is either too thin or too soft, so the video card bends on its own weightwhen it's on place in the slot!
Well OK the PCI-E slot is standard wide os it it does not allow placing any cards thicker than standard thickness.
Maybe they could build the card based on stiff PCB or mount some support, as the GF 9800GX2 is whole in a plastic box.
The aluminum heatsink is hevy after all, they could think about it.
When the DVI jacks were soldered and cool down, some tension appeared and bend the PCB so the metal plate with DVI jacks isn't perpendicular to the PCB, it's 70 - 75 deg instead of 90! Which makes the mounting difficult, if I hadn't noticed that I could even damage the card of the motherboard, 'cause the metal pate don't match the cases's grooves. I had to counterbend the PCB in order fit the plate in place.
And because the the card looks very ugly bended that way I had to support it by a long screw from the bottom of the case. (luckely there was a threaded orifice in a perfect place so screw it there :) 

Otherwise the video card works fine!

And finally I want to ask a question. How can I check which game uses the CrossFire and which one doesn't?
It's not convenient to me to look in game's scpecs. It would be good if the catalist of some software like everest could show that. I mean I start the game minimise it and open a program which shows if the cross fire is active. I imagine it like that :)  (maybe I want too much!)
(And sorry about my english, sometimes I say somethings I don't mean :D )

More about : sapphire ati hd4850x2

May 11, 2009 4:16:25 PM

Yeah right click the ATI Tray Icon and go under Crossfire options, then select show crossfire icon.
THat way every time crossfire is active in a game you will see a transparent ATI Crossfire logo in the top right corner of the screen.

Have fun gaming.
May 13, 2009 7:33:02 AM

Thank you man :)  I'll try this!
Related resources
May 29, 2009 10:00:24 AM

It doesen't work my driver doesen't have that option!
January 3, 2010 7:24:55 AM

Hi.
Just thought I'd resurrect this thread as I've had the above mentioned card for about 4-5 months now and have a few things to mention about it, some of which may be of interest to you if you have encountered the same problems I have.

My card: Sapphire HD4850 X2 1GB
Other components: AMD 6400+ Black edition dual core 3.2GHZ
2GB corsair DDR2
Asrock Alive Xfire mainboard (single gfx card installed)
Zalman reserator 1v2 water cooling for CPU and northbridge + mods and bits n bobs attached

*******Bending PCB******
Firslty, the bending under it's own weight thing.... yeah, I have that. I've come up with a totally gash solution, which is to use the power cable loop which connects the two connectors on the card to the PSU (both are on the same rail) to brace that end of the board off the bottom of the case, which works alright. It seems to bend only so far and just stay like that, and it still works so meh. Anyone who has a pentium 4 LG774 or whatever its called and has changed it's heatsink will know that bending PCB's doesn't mean they break..... much lol!!

********Noise********
This irritated the crap out of me to begin with, as the fans would be near silent then ramp straight up to 100% as soon as they were under load, occasionally drowining out my speakers if late at night. The best solution to this (other than an aftermarket cooler, which I'll get to in a mo) is to flash both GFX card BIOSes and set the fan speeds for each temp yourself.
This thread has the details for anyone brave enough to try it - the first comment here:
http://www.geeks3d.com/20081114/sapphire-radeon-hd-4850...
- I did it as described there, and have had absolutely no issues yet at all. I saved the original BIOS just incase.

Secondly, if your feeling even more brave and have a small phillips screwdriver, you can take the black aluminium shroud off the card pretty easily by unscrewing the 8 small screws holding it onto the heatsink. These are located on the top (or bottom, depending on your outlook ;P ) of the card, around the fans. Doing this quietened it down a bit, and also aided in cooling - more on that to follow.

********Cooling********
The most extensive of my efforts so far.... or atleast it soon will be.
This was a massive problem for me, firstly because of the way I had lately rearranged my watercooling system (which I now know to be utterly silly lol) and secondly due to my small midi tower case. Because of this card, my CPU routinely overheated and as my cooling is (mostly) passive, I had to power off and cool down the coolant before playing Farcry2 again.
There are a couple of things you can do to stop this emitting so much heat.... one or two small things, and one very big thing, all of which I'll cover.

**Removing the shroud**
This seems to have helped the case temp. I have no hard data to back this up, as I lack thermometers / time / energy to measure it, but my CPU has stopped overheating (although I have also corrected the sillyness inherent in my watercooling loop). Taking the shroud off opens up the fans on all sides, and allows greater airflow around the heatsinks. Although it should also be noted that this means your HD4850 will be spraying hot air ALL OVER your case rather than being restricted by the shroud.

**Moving the card**
If you are lucky enough to own an MB with 2 PCIE graphics slots - (crossfire or even an SLI board I think) - you may be able to move the card down to the bottom slot. This puts a little more distance between your gfx card and the other major heatsources - RAM, CPU and PSU. Atleast on my board this is true, I have seen some wierd configs for boards lately so this might not help you.

**Fans**
Sounds like a no-brainer, but a couple of extractor fans or one of those PCI slot fans from akasa will help ALOT. My main issue was the heat wafting up from the reverse side of the board, where there were no heatsinks or fans to cool it, and this hot air just hanging around and heating up my waterpipes. 2 80mm fans and a PCI slot fan directly above the gfx card almost eliminate this problem entirely.

"but", I hear you cry, "this just makes more noise!!!" This is true, they do. Unless you, like me, enjoy playing with resistors and / or making gash mods to your wires. A normal case fan (connects to a 3 pin connector on the MB) can be easily repurposed to be a very slow spinning (read: silent) fan with just 3 easy steps.
1. Cut off 3 pin connector from the wire
2. get a spare 4 pin molex connector
3. splice the red wire on the fan to the red on the molex, and the black to one of the blacks.
This gives you a slow spinning fan which moves air at a nice pace nonetheless.
Do that at your own risk. Even though my system hasn't exploded or caught fire, that's not to say my hacks won't cause it to in the future.... same goes for yours.

You can do a similar thing to a PCI slot fan... try putting a resitor inline on the red wire, that should slow it down a bit. Infact you could do exactly the same for the case fans, but I haven't tried it that way yet lol :) 

**Extremities**
The third cooling solution for this card has yet to be delivered. A word of warning before you click "BUY" however, I have no idea if this will even fit the 4850. I got it as it used to be about £60 so £23 is one hell of a saving.
I will post again (maybe even with pics!!) if installation is successful.
See here: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coolermaster-Aquagate-Du...

This is a more extreme solution, but if the waterblocks fit, it could almost have been designed specifically for this card (2 years in advance lmao).
The main reason I want to try this solution is firstly, as you may have guessed, I really like liquid cooling. My reasons for this are that its more efficient, and instead of having fast running fans you have fewer slower running fans, making for a much quieter pc, and less wind-tunnel effect. Although it is generally very expensive, getting a stand-alone cooling solution for that price is just epic. I mean the same kind of (decent) thing for cooling a CPU is upwards of £90.
Would be great if you had 2 single core cards in xfire or sli too. But read some reviews before you buy, I hear this thing is bulky.

The second, more important reason, is that right now this card spews hot air like a UK politian, all around the inside of my case, heating it up. One of my upcoming upgrades is a new 80mm radiator to be mounted internally, so I want cooler air inside the case as I might be exhausting this through the radiator, even if not it will still have an effect on the liquid's temperature.
This solution looks to me like it will take the heat from the card and expel it through the vent in it's PCI bracket. So, no more hot air heating up the rest of my components! I'm looking forward to this.
I used to use the Reserator to cool my VGA card aswell as northbridge and cpu, back in the day when components werent that hot, and a GFX card with a fan was one that you paid alot extra for. Things have moved fast.... I mean I'm not very old lol.
It managed this completely passively with no extra kit.... but as I've upgraded things over the years it became unable to deal with all of it at once, and then unable to work passively, so took out the VGA block and northbridge block (recently) and added a reservoir, extra pump, extra passive radiator and a fan to the reserator itself. and even that got overheated by this one beast of a card. I also just found out what I owe the leccy company, I'm beginning to wonder if this card should come with "may replace central heating, inflate energy bill" label attached to the box.

Hope this is of use to anyone whos experienced these issues.

Thanks
Alan

p.s has anyone noticed squealing seemingly coming from this card when playing games? more noticeable in game intros - try watching the wither intro vid if you have it, you'll see what I mean. I have a fix for this too, but will refrain on posting till i've tried it.

January 3, 2010 12:36:17 PM

Thanks :) 

Actually that inspires me to share my own experience with that gfx('cause didn't have any, back when I started this thread, it was just after I bought the card)

I'm still a bit annoyed by its build quality, but I guess it's a common tendency for PC hardware to become more and more fragile and "soft" because of the use of cheep materials, thiner plates and pieces even in expansive products like this. The hardware manufacturers don't wand to increase the price for better hardiness, because the "life" of pieces like gfx have much shorter these days than before. They just got changed too oftenly. Which is bad for guys like me who don't upgrade very often :) 

Allow me to use your text structure. :) 

Firstly: It appears that I made very good choice of case. It's GIGABYTE Poseidon 310. I'll explain why.

*******Bending PCB******
Now when I read what wrote at first I didn't explain my solution very clearly. The case is designed for watercooling solutions. Maybe GIGABYTE's watercooling systems only, but it dosen't really mater. The point is that on its bottom plate there are two threaded wholes, probably to screw down the pump or whatever other part of the watercooling system. I used one of them to screw up a long screw that extends up all the way to the gfx's shroud (which points down)2.5 inches or so, and supports it just like a beam - it's just beautiful! :)  But before I noticed this trick, your cable solution was in place... yeah, it works fine too!! :D 

********Noise********
The noise never was an issue ot me. (It's not that I'm beaf :p  :D  ) It just doesn't annoy me. Now I don't even notice when the gfx "hits the throttle" :D  I'm too busy gaming at such times. :D  Now seriously there are 5 fans in my PC (except the two gfx fans) and they are all 12 inch 1000RPM, only the CPU fan is 1500RPM ;)  they are pretty quiet. And why my gfx doesn't rush so much I'll just explain. :) 

********Cooling********

The case is one of those with window that lets you enjoy the parts inside :D . But you can get that plastic glass off and replace it with a special sheet iron grating which comes with the case. With it, the case is opened in practice. In addition I installed a 12 inch 1000RPM quiet fan (it's one of those 5 I mentioned) in the lower part of that grating. The fan sucks cold air from outside through the grating and spits it in the space right beneath the gfx ;) . This is why it doesn't rush to 100% fan speed oftenly (actually at all, atleast I can't hear it :D  ). Despite those "smart" heads who say "Never keep the case open, that disrupts the internal airflow and only makes it worse" they say this for cases with a front and rear case fans like this one, but before I removed the glass and set the grating I always had annoyingly high temperatures of all the heat emiting components.

Of course this case isn't perfect! Firstly got to be a bit small for my mo/bo (ASUS Rampage II Extreme). I had to remove the HDD case and install the HDDs in the two floppy bays. Which made the case generally a bit "soft" unstable. But it's not an issue at all.
January 3, 2010 4:48:38 PM

Hi,

This thread lives!!!! lol

sounds like you have your case pretty well cooled then, and a nice setup too.

unfortunately, my case isn't ideal. and I only have 3 fans in total, not including the gfx.
I forgot to mention this in my original post, but I had to bend parts of the case out of the way in order to install this gfx card - it turned out to be long enough to take up 75% of the length of my case!! in other words, where the card ends, it's halfway inside a hard drive bay. And it's wide enough for me to have to bend ALL of those bays to make them wider to allow me to install the card :( 

I have 2 drives, one of which, like you, is mounted in a floppy bay now, and i agree it's very flimsy. The other is mounted in a heatpipe cooler in one of the 5.25" bays - the cooler also dampens the vibes and noise from the drive significantly.
If your interested you can find them here: http://www.emodder.com/product/Zalman-ZM-2HC2-HeatPipe-...
I used to have 2 but can't find the other one now :( 

I like your solution to the bendy PCB, thats very elegant. Like I said mine is a bit gash, and doesn't help that much but provides a little support lol.

I appreciate that alot of people aren't bothered by fan noise / gfx noise, but I'm a bit of an obsessive with that stuff. That's my main reason for going to such lengths with liquid cooling, it elminates having so many fans at such high speed.
I mean even HDD seek noise annoys me, hence the drive cooler / dampener :D 

just looked up your case, very nice! i'm tempted to get one now, considering my current £23 unnamed midi tower is starting to bend out of shape too much. might grab one of those soon, unless i can save enough dough for a coolermaster cosmos....

thanks for posting
January 9, 2010 5:12:30 PM

Hi again,

this is the followup thread I promised regarding the coolermaster watercooler.
I got it installed! :D 



bolted the radiator onto the side of the case.

its actually pretty damn good! installation was a peice of piss. only issue was available space inside my case lol
After installing this with some arctic silver 5 compound, the idle temperature as reported by catalyst was 37 degrees celsius. under load (farcry2 with things turned up) it rose only to 48 degrees!!!! and i played that for an hour before checking!

a couple of pics of installation:

I already took off the shroud as i mentioned earlier, so heres where I started:


next, I took off the heatsinks, which was also very easy. they didn't take much force to pull off:


so, now to install the coolermaster blocks:



and somehow stuff it into it's undersized case:



doing this had the knock-on effect of making my cpu cooler, as now it idles almost 10 degrees lower, and another 10 degrees lower under load. id call that a win.


and just to prove the temps:



***The downsides****
its almost noiser than the HD4850 stock fans when it is going full speed.
but thats about it. all in all, win.
!