ATI’s new Radeon X1950 XTX is a worthy successor to the Radeon X1900 XTX, the previous flagship product in the R580-based series. Equipped with new-type memory, capable of working at an unprecedented frequency of 1000 (2000) MHz, the card has got faster and better than the GeForce 7900 GTX where the Radeon X1900 XTX used to lag behind. As might have been expected, the biggest performance growth is observed when full-screen antialiasing is used along with high resolutions. The value of this growth varies from 5% to 20%, but is zero in some cases, e.g. in Call of Duty 2, F.E.A.R., and Tomb Raider: Legend. Anyway, this is an excellent achievement considering that the new card’s specs differ from the older model’s in only one point.
We also want to single out the fact that having the same or higher performance than the GeForce 7900 GTX, the Radeon X1950 XTX provides a much higher quality of anisotropic filtering. This is not too conspicuous in the heat of a battle, but the difference is striking in some cases. The Radeon X1950 XTX is undoubtedly preferable in this respect. Besides that, like any other member of the Radeon X1000 family, the new card from ATI permits to use FSAA and enhanced floating-point color representation (HDR FP) simultaneously which greatly improves the visuals in some games, e.g. in TES IV: Oblivion. Having two G71 chips under the hood, the Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 cannot offer anything like that with regards to image quality, but is ahead of the Radeon X1950 XTX in performance across a number of applications.
Our praises also go to the designers of the new cooling system the Radeon X1950 XTX is equipped with. It is a quiet, yet highly efficient cooler which is no worse than alternatives from Artic Cooling or Zalman and is far better than the older cooler that used to be installed on the Radeon X1900 XTX. Silence-seeking users won’t have to buy a third-party cooler for this card. And it looks impressive, too!
The only disappointing thing about the new card from ATI is that the company couldn’t begin mass shipments of it on the day of the announcement as it had done with the Radeon X1900 XTX. This is due to a certain deficit of GDDR4, it being a new memory type, but we hope this all will have been adjusted by September when the Radeon X1950 XTX is going to become widely available. At a suggested price of $449 and with excellent performance the new graphics card from ATI has a chance to get highly appreciated by those people who want to have not only a highest frame rate possible but also high image quality in games they play.
- The highest performance in a majority of games
- Excellent performance with enabled FSAA and in extreme resolutions
- Simultaneous support for FSAA and floating-point HDR formats
- Superb anisotropic filtering quality
- Support for temporal antialiasing
- Support for adaptive antialiasing (super-sampling is used to smooth out transparent textures)
- 48 pixel processors ensure a reserve of performance for the future
- Support for hardware decoding of H.264 and other HD video formats
- Dual-link DVI
- VIVO functionality
- Efficient cooling system
- Quiet operation
- Nice looks
- Low recommended price at $449
- High power consumption
- Will only be available for purchase in September