The Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic is not only special for its factory overclock, but its Vapor-X cooler is very powerful and clearly is a superior cooling solution. The Radeon HD 4870 Toxic with its 780/1000MHz speeds was faster than the reference Radeon HD 4870 in our tests, but once increasing the core and memory frequencies to 800MHz and 1150MHz, respectively, the lead had widened. Of course, simply an overclocked Radeon HD 4870 will come nowhere near the Radeon HD 4870 X2 speeds.
The ATI Radeon HD 4870 is an already great graphics card but with Sapphire bringing forth their Vapor-X cooler, this graphics card just got even better. This cooler isn't as quiet as some of the other Radeon HD 4800 series graphics cards we have tested, but it's able to effectively cool the GPU/memory and allows for a first-rate overclocking experience. In our Linux tests the Radeon HD 4870 Toxic was usually a few frames faster than the stock Radeon HD 4870.
With the factory overclock and triple heatpipe cooler, this graphics card will cost more than the other reference models, but only by a small margin. We would expect the HD 4870 Toxic will just be $20~30 USD more, which is certainly justifiable if you are after the best performance. If you are interested in the most silent graphics card, such as for a Home Theater PC, you would be better off with a quieter cooling solution. We are very fond of the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic 512MB graphics card and it's certainly worthy of our Phoronix Editor's Choice Award.
Pricing information and more reviews on Sapphire graphics cards and other ATI products can be found at TestFreaks.com.