Sapphire hasn't disappointed me. Things started out ho-hum, with the card performing on par with the 9700 Pro, but really kicked into the "kneel and give praise" area when I started playing around with the clock settings. The memory could have been better, but the core more than made up for it. I'm positive that with some additional cooling, you could easily squeeze another 15-20MHz on the ram and probably hit 430-440Mhz on the core with a quality copper HSF assembly, artifact free.
I still don't think much of Sapphires decision to stick so closely to the reference design, but then again it doesn't really matter when price is the main selling point in the market the card is aimed at. Even without the overclocking potential, the price of the card is generally lower than that of a 9700 Pro but on par performance wise so it's hard to knock the card for those few relatively insignificant short-comings.
Given that, then docking points for the slow holding-me-back ram, but adding a ton for the absolutely amazing overclocking core and good price, I've decided to give the Sapphire 9800 Atlantis a healthy 4.5 of 5.
4.5 out of 5