Sporting a custom vapor chamber technology cooler, it goes without saying that the Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X looks markedly different from other Radeon HD 5870 cards. Physically, you'll notice immediately that the fan now sits directly above the GPU core, unlike reference designs where it was off centre. Peering closer, you'll also notice three thick copper heat pipes sprouting out from the base of the heatsink that further assist the vapor chamber base. To add, we found that during operation, the fan was quiet and smooth.
Underneath the cooler, there are also other differences. The Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X uses the same Cypress XT GPU as all other Radeon HD 5870 cards do, but it comes factory-overclocked at 870MHz for the core and a heady 5000MHz DDR for the memory. This is a minor, but nevertheless substantial increase in clock speeds when compared to a stock card's 850MHz at the core and 4800MHz DDR at the memory.
As part of the package, the Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X also comes bundled with a redeemable copy of Dirt 2 and Battlestations Pacific.