Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Toxic 100225TXSR

Aron Schatz
May 2, 2008
Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Toxic 100225TXSR
The Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 Toxic is the perfect match for your Linux system thanks to AMD. The bundle is also impressive.

Page 1: Intro, Box, Info


It has been a very long time since a graphics card has passed by the review bench of ASE Labs. Sapphire steps up to the plate with their release of the Radeon HD3870 Toxic Edition that hopes to earn some of your hard earned cash. With AMD's support of open source, the ATI partners are in a good position to conqueror the Linux market and the future is bright. Sapphire is the biggest producer of ATI cards and we will see how their product performs.

About Sapphire:


Pioneers in a new era of how data is displayed and games are played, Sapphire shepherds the performance oriented with ground-breaking solutions to an environment that remains in a constant state of flux and ultimate evolution. For over ten years Sapphire has held true to its unwavering commitment, the commitment to deliver the most feature rich and soundly engineered products. Because of Sapphire's firm position on achieving excellence with each product that leaves our ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified factories, you can rest assured that your customers will recognize YOUR commitment to selling only the highest of quality components.

"Sapphire is ATI's largest and best performing partner World Wide" Dave Orton, CEO ATI

Since ATI announced its manufacturing & distribution relationships with ODMs and AiBs in June of 2001, SAPPHIRE has been THE key ATI Graphics Boards Supplier worldwide and now stands poised and ready to capture the mainboard audience of those who seek a stable platform for their mission critical operations.

Captured within the circuitry of each of SAPPHIRE's graphic cards and mainboards can be found the collective feedback from generations of enthusiasts in every market niche. Brought to life through performance oriented innovation and an emphasis on quality control, SAPPHIRE designs, manufactures and distributes the most complete range of ATI video boards and mainboards--from the mainstream products that afford the casual user the opportunity to enjoy enriched graphics and affordable platform solutions to the state-of-the-art technological marvels that drive fantasies to before unattainable thresholds of realism, and offer the pinnacle of stability and performance! SAPPHIRE refuses to compromise quality by cutting corners at the expense of its customers experience with their products. All ATI board designs undergo a stringent layout inspection by our staff of engineers to guarantee that they represent the usual high-quality image of ATI original boards. We also enjoy the resources of a highly innovative technical department that layout complex designs to accommodate different market niches as they arise. SAPPHIRE ATI video boards have long been the reliable choice for a great number of OEMs and large System Integrators in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America based largely on our ability to meet a fast paced technical markets advancements as well as our means to produce large quantities of product.

All SAPPHIRE ATI video boards are manufactured under 100% ATI production criteria including QC and outgoing system. Our monthly video board production capacity can reach a lofty 1.8 million and often topples this landmark figure. Our factory has always been the major manufacturer on ATI boards for most of the top ten tier 1 OEMs worldwide. With this background, you should undoubtedly be guaranteed of the impeccable quality, production capacity and product reliability of all ATI video boards and mainboards from SAPPHIRE. Be they business oriented or something just off center of the crosshairs, Sapphire has a solution for you and we look forward to an exciting and prosperous relationship with you!


The RV670 is the codename for the 3800 series GPU. There are a number of improvements over the previous model. The RV670 is built on a 55 nanometer manufacturing process which is the first product to do so. Shrinking the feature size allows for better power consumption and less expensive parts due to fewer materials being used. The older generation R600 parts were based on an 80nm process and featured 700 million transistors. The RV670 drops the count down to a devilish 666 million.

The RV670 supports the latest de facto standards such as DirectX 10.1 (the absolute latest which is only available on Windows Vista) as well as OpenGL 2.0. The GPU also supports HDMI as well as HDCP (also for use on Vista or TVs that require it). In that area, the RV670 has added a Unified Video Decoder engine to the GPU to allow full hardware acceleration when dealing with any HD format.

Aside from the new fancy multimedia features, AMD has sought to improve the power management capabilities of its cards and this GPU features PowerPlay technology. This was previously seen in notebooks, but even desktop CPUs have notebook power saving features now (Core 2). Unlike previous attempts at power management, this does not require any driver interaction. The GPU itself can sense what functions it needs to perform and actually shut down unused parts of the GPU. This combined with the die shrink means that the cards built on this technology should be very power friendly.

The highend model of the RV670 is the Radeon HD 3870 which has 512MB of GDDR4 clocked at 1125MHz with a 256-bit memory bus and a core clock of 775MHz. The Toxic edition pumps that up a bit.



The Sapphire retail box is black and blue. Notice all the product logos on the box as well, that should give you an idea of what will come inside the packaging.


  • 512MB GDDR4
  • 256-bit GDDR4 memory interface
  • Blue PCB
  • Core/Memory Clock - 800 / 1152MHz
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 10.1 support
  • CrossFire X support
  • ATI PowerPlay
  • Hardware processed 1080p video playback of Blu-ray and HD DVDs
  • HDMI with 5.1 surround sound audio
  • 666 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR4 memory interface
  • Ring Bus Memory Controller
  • Fully distributed design with 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads and writes
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1
  • 32-bit floating point texture filtering
  • Indexed cube map arrays
  • Independent blend modes per render target
  • Pixel coverage sample masking
  • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders
  • Gather4 texture fetching
  • Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
  • 320 stream processing units
  • Dynamic load balancing and resource allocation for vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
  • Common instruction set and texture unit access supported for all types of shaders
  • Dedicated branch execution units and texture address processors
  • 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
  • Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
  • Shader instruction and constant caches
  • Up to 80 texture fetches per clock cycle
  • Up to 128 textures per pixel
  • Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
  • DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
  • High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
  • Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
  • Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
  • Early Z test, Re-Z, Z Range optimization, and Fast Z Clear
  • Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
  • Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
  • 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing support
  • Physics processing support

Quite a list of features, but you should be aware that this card is factory overcocked. Not listed in the specs, the product carries a 2 year warranty which is fine for a VGA card.
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