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PCB Design

Except for engineering samples, all Radeon X1900 are manufactured at Sapphire Technologies’ facilities. That’s why the PowerColor X1900 XT is an exact copy of the reference card we described in our earlier review called The Fast and Furious: ATI Radeon X1900 XTX Review.


There is no sign here that this is a product of PowerColor. Even the cooler’s casing is still adorned by an ATI Technologies logo and a picture of Ruby. We think graphics card manufacturers should add more individuality to their products. Just putting another picture on the cooler’s case would make the card more appealing in the eyes of the end-user.

There are eight K4J52324QC-BJ12 chips of GDDR3 SDRAM from Samsung on board the card (512Mbit each, in 136-pin FBGA packages). The total amount of graphics memory is 512 megabytes and its clock rate is 725 (1450) MHz, exactly as described by the official Radeon X1900 XT specs, although the chips themselves are capable of working at frequencies up to 800 (1600) MHz. Like the faster, BJ11-suffixed chips, these work at a supply voltage of 2.0V (chips from this series but suffixed as BC14 or higher work at a lower VDD and VDDQ voltage – 1.8V).

Graphics cards of the Radeon X1900 family have high power consumption, and we were curious to know how big a share the high-frequency memory has in this. We read through the tech specs of the K4J52324QC series and found that the BJ12-suffixed chips have a peak consumption of 1.195A. Working at 2.0V voltage, each chip thus consumes 2.39W. So, all of the graphics memory on board the Radeon X1900 XT consumes a total of about 19W. It also means that the graphics processor of the card consumes as much as 89W which is very high and comparable with the consumption of such processors as AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+! The Radeon X1900 XT GPU consumes even more – 100W almost! Since the power consumption of the memory chips is rather low, the use of elastic thermal pads is quite justifiable, although they are rather too thick to be very effective.

The graphics processor is clocked at 625MHz, exactly as described in the official specs. Thick dark-gray paste with low thermal resistance is used as thermal interface here.

Like all Radeon X1900 series graphics cards, the PowerColor X1900 XT is equipped with a Rage Theater chip which endows it with VIVO functionality. We’d like to remind you that it’s impossible to use the video input and to attach an YPbPr-interfaced device simultaneously because the appropriate adapters need one and the same connector. This is a common drawback of almost all such graphics cards.

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