Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 Vapor-X Video Card Review

Product: Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 Vapor-X
Company: Sapphire
Author: James Prior
Editor: Pete Vagiakos
Date: June 7th, 2011

Summary & Conclusions

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 VaporX is priced around $135, with mail-in rebates bringing the price down another $20. This brings it to the same price as the previous generation Juniper cards, but they also get rebates of about $20. So you can get a HD 5770 for around $100USD, or you can get a HD 6770 for around $120. It's a rebadged product with only one significant feature update: BluRay 3D. For most people this comes under the heading of insignificant.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 Vapor-X

The Juniper core doesn't quite have enough horsepower to drive all modern games at highest settings and 1080p. This doesn't mean it can't provide a great looking and fun experience, and in performance terms it can match the HD 6790 quite closely in some games and settings, while using less power and producing less heat. If performance is the primary concern then a Radeon HD 5830 - especially Sapphire's HD 5830 Extreme - will be the best choice from AMD, offering much better performance and lower pricing. On the other side of the fence, the decision is the GTX 460 768 or GTX 550, although both of which are a little more spendy. For pure performance/$$ the HD 6770 isn't the best choice, we've got to include more parameters in our product evaluation to see why it sits where it does.

If performance isn't the be-all, end-all of your purchase decision, then other strengths come to the fore. With a load TDP given around 108W, it's quite a low power proposition, and the form factor isn't huge but still wieldy thanks to the dual slot cooler. A single PCI-Express power input increases the number of systems and power supplies that will be able to accommodate it, especially in multi-GPU. The Sapphire HD 6770 features a small PCB, shorter than an ATX mainboard, similar in size to the HD 5750 design. The shroud protrudes past the PCB a fair ways, which might be a problem for smaller cases. Having a small size is useful for smaller desktop case builds, and HTPC configurations. In those uses, the HDMI 1.4 support becomes more relevant, as you will able to build a more future-proof setup. AMD's Evergreen and Northern Island series cards all include an on-board HD audio processor, supporting 7.1 channel AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats over HDMI output.

Sapphire Vapor-X Cooling

There's nothing inherently wrong with Sapphire's card, it has a nice custom PCB and heatsink but as our benchmarks showed, the factory overclock is hardly worth mentioning. As always with Sapphire cards, the build quality is good, it comes with a two year warranty, and the Sapphire Select Club offers some nice added value competitions and downloads. It's a shame Sapphire TRIXX isn't updated and included to offer voltage and clock control, yet. The fan is quiet and unobtrusive, although audible above 75% fan speed. Overall the etail price of around $120 seems a little high; if you don't need the BluRay 3D support you save money with the HD 5770 - while they last. If you do need the BluRay 3D support, then the performance, efficiency and pricing all work well for a good purchase. We award 3 1/5 stars.