Over the years NVIDIA and ATI have been struggling for the graphics card dollar. When AMD bought ATI a couple of years ago, they removed a competitor but merged two companies into a better company in my opinion. Every year at this point I ask myself the question what is a good video card for my money and where does a given card fit into the market. Video cards are constantly evolving. Three years ago NVIDIA launched the GeForce 8800GTX in November of 2006, the first DirectX 10.0 video card. ATI followed suit in May of 2007 with the launch of the HD 2900XT video card. ATI launched their HD 3870 in November of 2007 which is the first to support DirectX 10.1, which was followed by NVIDIA's 9600GT and 9800GTX the next year.
ATI decided to go a different route with the next card, the Radeon HD 4870. Instead of competing at the high-end with a single large chip like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX280, ATI decided to combat the mainstream with the HD 4870 single chip solution and combine two chips on one card to combat the high-end with the HD 4870 x2. The HD 4870 was launched in the early summer of last year with the refresh part, the HD 4890 launched early this year. Sapphire is a long time partner of ATI. I first heard of them in 2002 with the launch of the Radeon 9700 Pro series of cards where I first met Doc. Today's review is on the Sapphire Toxic HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 video card. This card is clocked higher than the 2GB version and should be faster.