Sapphire HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 PCI-E Video Card

sapphire-radeon-hd-4870

I purchased the Sapphire 4870 in August last year back when this card was the most powerful on the market and almost eight months later it can still hold it’s own in the gaming scene, well it would if not for the constant crashing.

That’s right, it’s a wonderful card unless you have the gall to actually use it for games.   It seems to be a problem with the bios/firmware of the Sapphire variants of the 4870 (although I spoke to a guy who has the same problems with his 3870) and I’ve tried absolutely everything in order to stop it from crashing.  I’ve spent many hours browsing through forums and there are many people experiencing the same problem.  Usually you will be able to install a game and start it fine but from the moment it begins there is a 3 – 5 minute window period before the game locks up resulting in either a BSOD or requiring you to hard boot.

There is much debate over what the exact problem is, some people say it’s an overheating issue or that you have to force the clockspeed to stay on 750MHz (500MHz for 2D apps, 750MHz for 3D etc) as the constant switching causes the card to crash.  Strangely enough there are a few games that never crash, Race Driver Grid, Halo 2 and Far Cry 2.

So I’ve finally decided to flash the card’s bios, I won’t be doing it myself as if you fuck up you will brick the card voiding your warranty.  So I’ll be taking my beloved 4870 back to the store tomorrow and from there they will give it to the suppliers and have them update the firmware.

If that doesn’t work at least I’ll have a good looking paper weight…

Update: Bios flashing/firmware update was successful.  I HIGHLY recommend returning it to the store you purchased it from and asking them to update your card’s firmware, or if they can’t, get them to give it to their suppliers and have them do it.  Feedback on the issue is welcome.

Specs:

  • Display Output: Dual DL-DVI-I+HDTV
  • Core Clock: 750 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 900 MHz, 3.6Gbps
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 512MB /256bit GDDR5 memory interface
  • Dual Slot Active Cooler
  • HDMI compliant via dongle
  • 7.1 Audio Channel Support
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1 support
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