Component placementThe life of a video card starts with the empty PCB (printed circuit board). Sapphire does not manufacture these themselves, they are bought from an external contractor.
Next comes placement of the SMD (surface mount device) components. This is performed by a completely automated FUJI CP-732E placement machine, which takes the PCB design as input and places components from a selection of up to 140 different parts onto the PCB - at an amazing rate of 15 parts per second!
An X800 video card has about 850 components, so the first run, which is one side only takes about 1 minute. Now multiply that by two, because two cards are built together at the same time as you can see from the following pictures:
Two PCBs are joined together at the socket connector and will be cut into two video cards later during the production process.