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Conclusion

Well, did PowerColor manage to achieve an optimal combination of noiseless operation and high gaming performance? Now that we have discussed in detail the results of our PowerColor X1950 Pro SCS3 solution we can conclude: yes, they did. Thanks to the powerful passive cooling solution developed by one of the leaders in this field, Arctic Cooling Company, the card is completely noiseless and has no cooling issues whatsoever. And thanks to the great technical specs of the RV570 GPU it performs pretty well in today’s 3D games.

At the same time the power consumption of PowerColor X1950 Pro SCS3 is within acceptable range and doesn’t exceed 66W. This is higher than the power consumption of GeForce 8600 GTS, but as we have seen today, Nvidia’s solution yields to Radeon X1950 Pro in many cases. The only exceptions are such popular RPG as Neverwinter Nights 2 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. So, from the performance and economical prospective this solution (like any other Radeon X1950 Pro) is hardly less attractive than GeForce 8600 GTS.

Although PowerColor X1950 Pro SCS3 represents a very good combination of all the above mentioned features, it still has one drawback that we can’t help mentioning: large size, namely graphics card height. Of course, a cooling system features over 2500sq.cm of heat dissipating area cannot be small especially if we are talking about a fanless solution. In this case, engineers had to sacrifice the graphics card height, which makes this card absolutely unsuitable for compact system cases that are often used for home multimedia centers. If you really like this graphics solution, make sure that your case has enough room for it, before you buy it. It would be very good if your case were at least 170mm wide (tall in case of a desktop version), otherwise the graphics card cooler will get beyond the case side and will not let you close the panel.

As for the accessories bundle, the only thing we would like to see improved is the user guide, which we believe should be a little bit more detailed. Or maybe there could be at least a full user’s manual included on a CD disk with the drivers for instance, just like by products from Asustek Computer. All in all, PowerColor X1950 Pro SCS3 may be a very valuable purchase for those who value silence and at the same time shoot for high 3D gaming performance. And thanks to VIVO feature, this solution will also be a great choice for a home multimedia center. Just make sure that it fits into your case!

Highs:

  • Best performance in its class;
  • Outperforms Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS in most gaming tests;
  • Supports simultaneous FSAA and FP HDR;
  • Supports hardware HD-video decoding;
  • VIVO support;
  • Efficient and silent cooling system;
  • Sufficient accessories bundle.

Lows:

  • No DirectX 10 support;
  • Significant height may hinder installation in some system cases;
  • Too brief user guide.
 
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