As our readers should well know, the announcement of the Radeon X1900 (R580) graphics processor from ATI Technologies was accompanied with a release of three graphics cards based on it: Radeon X1900 XTX, Radeon X1900 XT and Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire Edition. The latter is a specific and narrowly-scoped product equipped with a frame-sewing Compositing Engine and meant for use as a Master in CrossFire tandems. If you want to learn more about this card, refer to our 2 Fast, 2 Furious: ATI Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire Review.
The Radeon X1900 XTX debuted successfully. It outperformed the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 which had never really taken off and became the highest-performance product among consumer graphics cards. ATI Technologies had taken care to provide the new card in mass quantities, so it was available right after the announcement, even though at a steep price of $649. Well, every flagship product is expensive, and the price of this one was also lowered to $549 a month after the release.
The Radeon X1900 XT in its turn only differed from its elder brother in having somewhat lower frequencies: 625/725 (1450) MHz as opposed to 650/750 (1500) MHz. Such a small difference couldn’t have a big effect on the performance in games as our tests proved (for details see our article called The Fast and Furious: ATI Radeon X1900 XTX Review). In most cases there was a negligible difference between a Radeon X1900 XTX and a Radeon X1900 XT or even none at all, although the latter came at an officially recommended price of $549, i.e. $100 cheaper than the flagship model! Since there was virtually no competition from Nvidia at the time of the announcement, the Radeon X1900 XT had the most appealing price/performance ratio. Today it has got a dangerous rival in the GeForce 7900 GTX which is officially priced at $499.
We’re going to talk about PowerColor’s version of Radeon X1900 XT in this review. Products from this company have never boasted gorgeous accessories, but have usually come at a rather low price, contrary to products from ASUS, for example. Let’s see what PowerColor offers us this time.