A modern high-end graphics card is an extremely complex device not only because of the immense number of transistors the graphics processor consists of. Developing the printed circuit board for such a card is a challenging and resource-consuming task as it has to provide for stable operation of the GPU and graphics memory at frequencies above 500-600MHz. This gets even more complicated due to the 256-bit bus the GPU and memory communicate through. The power circuitry has to meet strict requirements, too, now that the power consumption level of today’s high-end card is as high as 80-120W.
So, developing an original PCB for a high-end graphics card is a risky and costly business for the graphics card manufacturer and if anything goes wrong due to some unaccounted-for factors, the card manufacturer’s reputation, and the GPU maker’s too, may suffer, not to mention the inevitable financial loss.
We’ve got the present situation as a result: all high-end graphics cards are now being made on facilities rented by ATI Technologies and Nvidia, the chief GPU makers in this world. The companies’ partners buy ready-made solutions and may equip them with an original cooler or change the clock rates and BIOS settings, but most often they only stick their own logo and supply original accessories. This is why there’s so much uniformity in the high-end graphics card sector, but on the other hand the user is guaranteed stability of operation because the GPU manufacturer should know better how to design PCBs for its own graphics processors.
The GeCube Radeon X1900 XTX graphics card that we are going to talk about today is yet another such product. Let’s see how it’s going to attract the potential customer.