Saturday, August 9th 2008

Sapphire Non-Reference RV770 PCB Pictured

The success of the RV770 graphics processor (GPU) meant that partners of ATI could experiment with the design and come up with several products based on the GPU. The likes of Sapphire, HIS, PowerCOlor, Palit, HIS, etc., have already come up with numerrous non-reference designs, though all those designs had a common ATI designed PCB, with a primary PCB design with common layout of the various components, where the memory configurations and coolers used made all the difference. Sapphire has come up with a new non-reference PCB design for the Radeon HD 4850 that places components in a different way, perhaps it aides manufacturing and keeps the memory chips at a distance from the VRM circuitry enough to keep it cool enough to be passively cooled by a central cooler's air-flow? Whatever be the design methodology, Expreview pictured an upcoming Sapphire product based on this new PCB.

As the pictures show, the VRM circuitry has been pushed forward, towards the output connectors and Crossfire X fingers. The MOSFETs are cooled by an aluminum heatsink. There is a 2-phase power circuit for the RV770 GPU. The RV770 GPU is pushed towards the right hand side, with the memory chips on the south and west of the GPU. There is no heat-producing component next to the memory chips except the GPU on one side, the right-hand-side end only has the 6-pin power input, three capacitors and a choke with two MOSFETs.

The card uses a circular heatsink with a copper core, the cooler consists of a central copper-embedded core with aluminum fins projecting radially.

Source: Expreview
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16 Comments on Sapphire Non-Reference RV770 PCB Pictured

#1
ShadowFold
I should have waited for these.. I was pretty much forced to buy a new heatsink cause they run so hot.. And even then it still gets up to 67c under load OC'd! The design looks OK but I don't like that cooler cause its almost identical to the intel stock cooler and we all know how good that is :p
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#2
AsRock
TPU addict
I wounder what it be like with the 4970's default cooler with that VRM at the other side of the card..
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#3
Lillebror
: and i nearly just got my 4870 :(
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#4
Black Hades
God, it's unbearable waiting:banghead:...I've been tempted to buy a standard 4870 since it got out but I managed to wait this far.
I feel like I'm waiting for these forever, the Powercolor non-reference 4870 sounds perfect. Hope they come out by fall.
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#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Sorry for not clarifying, the pictures you see are those of HD 4850.
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#6
Urbklr
These are great for tight case's...They are much shorter than normal
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#7
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I love the blue pcb and the placement of critical components can only improve the cards longevity.
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#8
Urbklr
I must say, I don't know how much better than cooler would be from the stock one.
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#9
ShadowFold
WarEagleAU said:
I love the blue pcb and the placement of critical components can only improve the cards longevity.
The way things run on reference boards I don't see mine lasting more than 2 years cause the VRM's get so hot even with a heatsink and OCZ freeze..
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#10
tkpenalty
WarEagleAU said:
I love the blue pcb and the placement of critical components can only improve the cards longevity.
Thats rather questionable. The 4850 ref design has a 3 phase + 1 phase setup, while this 4870 PCB has a 2 phase + 1 phase setup... Some 8800GTs that randomly die off die because of their mosfets frying. I.e. Sapphire is cost cutting here with the ommission of one set of inductor/mosfets/capacitors.
VITEC VRMs on the 4870 aren't that bad but you MUST cool them. If you're going aftermarket PLEASE remember to chuck on what, copper ramsinks. Best to get the swiftec ones. People who change coolers and fail to cool the VRMs will end up with a dead card. You also need airflow too.

The VRMs should provide the user with rock solid voltages afaik. I fail to see why the 4870 couldn't have used the recycled 3850 PCB however.
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#11
eidairaman1
ShadowFold said:
I should have waited for these.. I was pretty much forced to buy a new heatsink cause they run so hot.. And even then it still gets up to 67c under load OC'd! The design looks OK but I don't like that cooler cause its almost identical to the intel stock cooler and we all know how good that is :p
thats why you dont overclock with a Stock Cooler. Would you overclock your CPU with a stock cooler? I think not. Stock coolers cool under the Actuall Rating of the card, (dont forget the PCB also has alot of play in cooling thats why they are so large now) not the potential that is untapped. Remember Every Batch of CHips and PCBs have stuff that is better than others, ones that dont make the cut for a certain rating get sent to the next level down, if they didnt do this there would be alot more ewaste and the parts would cost way more.
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#12
R_1
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that new Sapphire design is cost effective and not overclocking effective one.
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#13
roadie
I agree. It looks like a design to cut manufacturing costs.
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#14
eidairaman1
R_1 said:
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that new Sapphire design is cost effective and not overclocking effective one.
dont judge a book by its cover.
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#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
R_1 is right. The components used and layout in general tell the story.
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#16
eidairaman1
btarunr said:
R_1 is right. The components used and layout in general tell the story.
im just saying dont knock it before it is out, besides not everything needs multiphase power to run stabily or overclock, look at parts of the past, im actually appreciative of them finally releasing non ref boards, tbh if i want a ref board, id go straight up with ''made by ati'' at least in the past.
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