back to article Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4850 vapour-cooled graphics card

The Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4850 is a reference Radeon HD 4850 with an after-market cooler. That might not sound like a big deal, but Sapphire has come up with something special. Most graphics card manufacturers try to differentiate their products from the competition and they often use the trick of changing the reference cooler …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
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    That is a really good temperature for a graphics card such as this. In the market for a suitable card and I think this may be it...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Cooler availability?

    Most impressive. Can you get the coolers seperately and will they fit my hinges?


  3. Timothy Creswick
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    Phase-change coolers

    Phase-change cooling is nothing new; the latent heat of vaporisation and condensation make for an especially effective method of heat transfer (see and

    It's always nicer when you can do it without a compressor, but as far as I can tell the only major innovation here is the "wick" technology. The only time I've ever read about vaporisation coolers on production (as opposed to experimental and demonstration) systems is on supercomputers, where individual CPUs have a closed module attached inside which the vaporisation and condensation occurs. This only really works when you know what the orientation of the module is likely to be (since the gases tend to bubble 'up' through the more-dense liquids), which I gather is the main reason why you don't see this on PC CPU and GPU coolers, since they may be mounted in a variety of orientations.

    It looks as though the Vapor-X retains all of the liquid within the wick, which means that it would work [almost?] as effectively upside-down, so thumbs up for the engineering!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Spinny thing

    From the top it looks like an older version of the Batmobile.

  5. Joe K


    About damn time they did something new, and effective, with cooling tech.

    Sick of loud buzzy fans.

  6. Bronek Kozicki
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    nice indeed, I was waiting for nice and quiet card

    last week checked few other reviews and then ordered its bigger brother - 4870 2GB. Can't hear it at all, perhaps because power supply started whining contest and won straight away. Need bigger one , 600W won't do anymore with these big cards ...

  7. Will
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    The reduction in power consumption and enhanced cooling is not that big a surprise when you take into account the fact that this newer version of the card uses the same updated board layout that the dual-slot cooler model uses. In the photo of the dual slot cooler version you can clearly see that the ram cooling heatsink and power circuit capacitors are located towards the duct end of the card like in the latest review model. This enhanced board layout requires less power and with the addition of the dual slot fan produces a lot less heat. This review is mostly a testimony to the effectiveness of the new cooler.

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