SAPPHIRE HAS STARTED to branch out from GPUs, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a large selection of high end GPUs to show off. New to the boys in blue this year are micro-projectors, netbooks and micro-ITX boards.
The big one, 5970/4G overclocked
Sapphire being Sapphire has to have a lot of high end cards, and CeBIT is usually the place where the non-stock GPUs make their debut. This one hasn’t been named yet, but it is likely going to be a Vapor-X or maybe an Atomic depending on clocks. If supplies allow, it may be both. At stock, it officially runs “850+/1200”, but there will be faster ones, almost guaranteed.
To back them up, Sapphire has two Vapor-X models, a 5870 and a 5850. The 5850 looks to be really interesting, a more reasonably priced card with a bit of headroom and tweakability is never a bad thing, nor is better cooling. Farther out, there is also a 2GB 5870 coming, but that is still in testing.
Micro-Projectors are neat
Stepping into uncharted territory, both for the company and the product category itself is the new Sapphire mini-projector. It is a small, barely above cell-phone sized battery powered DLP projector. The unit has 14 lumens, but will project 640*480 images up to a 60″ diagonal. You are going to need a dark room and a very clean wall for that to work though.
Battery life is about 140 minutes, not bad for something so small, especially with stereo speakers. It will take VGA and RCA inputs, and the light source is said to be good for 20,000 hours. There is no pricing or availability yet, so it is a few months out, probably debuting around Computex.
Last up is a netbook from Sapphire. It is a pretty stock Pineview unit running at 1.66GHz with 1G of DDR3. It will take a standard 2.5″ drive, so expect a range of options on the storage side. The screen is a 10.1-inch, 1024×600 panel, which is pretty standard for this class of notebook.
Two things that stood out, but were impossible to picture due to glare and case positioning, were the slim screen and nice looking case. From the looks of it, this netbook is one of the higher end models out there, and not chunky plastic. They are rolling out now in some parts of Europe, so it will probably be where you are in short order.S|A