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Old 03-18-2010, 05:58 AM   #1
Agent24
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Default What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

I'm going to buy a new HD5770 for an upgrade

Sapphire is one of the cheaper cards, along with HIS, PowerColor and strangely, Gigabyte.

I read somewhere that ATi has tighter control over some brands and the quality of components they use, and that Sapphire is good but of course nobody actually mentions capacitor brands, so the information is pretty rubbish to determine actual quality, in my opinion.


Does anyone know the level of quality of this brand, Sapphire?
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Most sapphire card's I have seen use samxon solids.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

The old Sapphire Radeons used Licons, but I imagine most if not all new Radeons are using Polymer caps anyhow.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

I have 2 Sapphire HD3870's both have UCC caps of PS, PSC, and KZG series. One has 2 Rubies in where the other has the KZG.

Solid cards IMO. Sapphire is usually an "upscale" model of the same version ATI card. Usually better heat sinks or more of them. i.e.- on RAM chips where plain unit has none.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Sound like good cards then!

I was always under the impression that Sapphire were bad quality due to the price - they are consistently very cheap in New Zealand
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

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Originally Posted by Agent24
Sound like good cards then!

I was always under the impression that Sapphire were bad quality due to the price - they are consistently very cheap in New Zealand
Yes they were the equivalent of PowerColor back in the day, using cheap RF filters and caps in the old Geforce 2 and Radeon cards.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

But they are not bad anymore?
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

No, they're good now. It's the lower end cards today you got to be picky about. For instance a while back I bought lots of Asus EAH3450 for a Hybrid Crossfire setup. There are two varieties of this card. I got the model that's a few dollars more with the large heatsink and the card came with a mix of solid caps and good quality lytics.

But there were many 3450s out there (Including Sapphire) who probably sold them with subpar caps.

But with the higher end cards, they produce a lot of heat, so they almost always use polymer caps on them so you're safe I imagine on anything higher than a 5670, but don't quote me on that.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Well I've ordered one, probably get here next Monday. Then we will see.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

also watch for bad fans.a stuck fan can kill the gpu quick!
seems if i oil the fan every year it lasts forever.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

That's why my current 8600GT is passively cooled by a massive heatsink.

The fan can't die if it doesn't have one

But I can't afford that luxury this time, unfortunately.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

My Sapphire HD5870 had solids, at least it did where I could see them.
Unfortunately I had to RMA it because of problems with the screen jumping, and tearing just cruising the interwebs. Then if I tried to play a game it would crash randomly.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Happens to everyone. This 8600GT is actually my second one, the first had faulty memory from day one.

And it's not a rubbish one either, it's a Gigabyte.

The thing was the problem was quite intermittent and never showed up in 2D use, it probably passed QC as an apparently working card quite easily.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Oh yeah I know that. It just gets annoying when you go though this with a PSU, a HD, and a GPU on the same computer within the first couple months.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent24
And it's not a rubbish one either, it's a Gigabyte.
lol
your talking about the company that's known for sending returns back out after a 3 second go/no-go test.
dont confuse price with quality - they just have good marketing.

i have had loads of dead gigabyte mobo's from customers needing repairs.
(and no, it wasnt caps)
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stj
lol
your talking about the company that's known for sending returns back out after a 3 second go/no-go test.
dont confuse price with quality - they just have good marketing.

i have had loads of dead gigabyte mobo's from customers needing repairs.
(and no, it wasnt caps)
Really? Well I've never had to return anything to them though. My faulty 8600GT was swapped by the shop for another. I was always under the impression they were pretty good.

They do seem to use pretty good quality capacitors, so if it's not that - what does go wrong with them?
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

I have bought 3 Sapphire ATi cards. All HD3650 version. Two PCI-E and one AGP. Good so far and good caps, going on 2-3 years now.

Also gives you goodies that powercolor or others do not except the retail version of ATi.

Cheers, Wizard
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

i dont know what goes on gigabyte mobo's - i'v never managed to rescue one.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

Gigabyte boards are all I ever buy. I had two fail. One when a cat 'marked' it and another when the 12v on a molex was shorted to ground and nuked the PS.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: What is the quality of Sapphire video cards? Do they use good capacitors?

A few years ago I ordered a Sapphire card (Radeon X1550) for my nephew's old computer. It had some cheap caps on it but it's good to hear they've apparently improved on that.

I'm annoyed that ATI doesn't sell their own cards anymore. I don't trust the gamer brands. I fear that all the mid-grade accelerators will break, since they're designed for people who buy a new card every year. I've been leaning toward Gigabyte, but maybe Sapphire is the way to go now.


In reading the fine print, I've noticed that Gigabyte's video cards use the same language as their cheaper motherboards. They say something like "all solid caps". They don't say Japanese. In pictures it looked like they use SamXon, but who knows what else might be there.

Their more expensive "Ultra Durable" motherboards use the phrase "all solid Japanese caps". The word 'Japanese' is omitted from the cheaper boards and video cards.
So if the caps are any indication, then I believe the overall build quality of Gigabyte's video cards might be more consistent with their cheaper motherboards. I don't remember what the warranties were like.
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