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There were neither NV40 nor R420 on the display at Comdex in Las Vegas, but Sapphire Technology demonstrated probably the world’s quietest graphics card built upon the most powerful graphics processor up to date – the RADEON 9800 XT.

Sapphire Technology is a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest PC components makers – PC Partner. The company became well-known in early 2002, when it started to offer the full range of graphics cards powered by graphics processors developed by ATI Technologies. The company employs loads of experienced professionals and is capable of making truly unique solutions for enthusiasts as well as cost-effective products for OEMs.

Sapphire Technology is the only graphics cards manufacturer who offers even the fastest graphics cards with quiet passive coolers – they call such products ULTIMATE Edition. The firm was the first to provide the RADEON 9700 PRO and the RADEON 9800 PRO-based products with no fans, not it is the first to offer a specifically tailored cooler for its ULTIMATE Edition RADEON 9800 XT.

The new Sapphire RADEON 9800 XT ULTIMATE Edition graphics card is made fully according to ATI Technologies’ recommendations for PCB design and speed – the VPU is clocked at 412MHz and 256MB of DDR memory function at 730MHz. However, the new card is expected to be considerably quieter compared to the ordinary RADEON 9800 XT products because of a unique heat-pipe-based cooler from Zalman installed on it.

Even though now the cooler from Sapphire and Zalman is equipped with a 1500rpm fan, the company told at Comdex X-bit labs' Editor in Chief Anna Filatova that the graphics card is fully capable of working just fine even without the fan. It worth to note that fan may become an interesting option for overclockers, who want quiet operation when working in 2D mode and ultimate performance when playing demanding 3D games.

Sapphire RADEON 9800 XT ULTIMATE Edition will be available shortly. You may check its availability in the USA using engine.


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