Before delivering our OpenGL and 2D performance results, we first looked at how well Sapphire's Vapor-X cooler had performed. This cooler wasn't as quiet as the non-Toxic Sapphire graphics card, but it's performance was very favorable. With the Phoronix Test Suite we had used the system monitor module to monitor the GPU, CPU, and system temperatures while running some of our OpenGL tests. Below you can see the result for the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 non-Toxic graphics card running Unigine Sanctuary and Unigine Tropics at its stock speeds.
The GPU temperature (as reported through the fglrx driver) was hovering between 75 and 80+ degrees Celsius. For reference, the system temperature was about 40 degrees Celsius. Now below is after we had run the factory-overclocked Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic with its Vapor-X cooler.
The system temperature was about the same when running the HD 4870 Toxic, but the GPU temperature was dramatically cooler. The GPU core temperature was only 50~60 degrees Celsius, which is roughly 10 degrees cooler than the graphics card running with a reference cooler and stock speeds. There is certainly quite a difference between the heatpipe-bearing Vapor-X cooler and its competition. For some additional metrics, we had also monitored the component temperatures while running the PCQS Desktop Graphics suite. This suite consists of many more tests outside of Unigine and took roughly a half-hour for the Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards to complete. With the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic, the GPU temperature remained quite low in the 50~60 degree range.