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Sapphire Technologies, the main add-in card partner of Advanced Micro Devices’ graphics division ATI, has “internally” demonstrated its dual-chip Radeon X1950 Pro, which is expected to be publicly showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early in 2007.

Similar photos of Sapphire dual-Radeon X1950 Pro graphics card code-named “The Godfather” were published by several web-sites, which indicates that they come from one source interested in spurring the interest towards the new product. Pictures indicate that Sapphire engineers used GeForce 7900-series cooling systems’ concepts to create the cooler for the Godfather and that the board can run 3DMark06.

The dual-chip Radeon X1950 Pro graphics card is taller than competitors and is longer than typical mainboards, which means that far not all computer cases will be able to host such board. The card also requires two 6-pin power connectors, which means that its power consumption is relatively high. Power consumption of single-chip Radeon X1950 Pro board is around 65W, which means that dual-chip card should consume approximately 130W.

Image published by The Inquirer

ATI Radeon X1950 Pro (code-named RV570) graphics chip has 36 pixel shader processors, 8 vertex shader processors 12 texture units, 256-bit memory bus and so on. ATI recommends graphics cards makers to clock the Radeon X1950 Pro graphics processing unit (GPU) at 575MHz and memory at 1.38GHz. Clock-speeds of the dual-GPU Radeon X1950 Pro from Sapphire were not revealed, just as other details concerning the product.

Image published by DailyTech

The dual-chip Radeon X1950 Pro from Sapphire may assign one chip for physics and one for graphics, just like ATI plans to do with its CrossFire dual-GPU setups. In addition, the board has CrossFire connectors, which may indicate that Sapphire wants to make several of such boards to work in one system, providing 4-way, 6-way or 8-way CrossFire for increased performance.

Nvidia Corp. introduced its 4-way SLI technology back at CES 2006, however, reviews of such technology revealed that four chips may not be faster than two clocked high enough and that the Quad SLI may produce artifacts and/or glitches. At the end, Nvidia introduced its DirectX 10-supporting GeForce 8800-series graphics cards, making GeForce 7950 quad SLI useless for enthusiasts. Given that the Radeon X1950 Pro also does not support DirectX 10, game enthusiasts may not bite the 4-way CrossFire this time.


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