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ATI Radeon x1950 Pro Preview
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by Greg King on October 17, 2006 in AMD-Based GPU

Dongle-free Crossfire anyone? ATI has just announced their x1950 Pro cards which fall directly behind the XTX versions. Some benefits include a digital voltage regulator and a single slot cooler! Learn more inside..

Rise of Legends, Oblivion


Finally, we get to my personal favorite, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. Rise of Legends is a powerful game with its rich graphics and its in-depth physics. This game was run at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 with all setting set to their highest settings.

Once again, we see that in CrossFire, the average frames are higher. This is not a surprise but you get the picture.

Conclusion

The ATI x1950 Pro is a card designed to settle in right behind the X1950 XTX and it does so nicely. There are a lot of positives about the x1950 Pro that it make it an easy recommendation to anyone in the market for a good GPU but who doesn’t have the cheddar to shell out for an x1950 XTX. When we get into CrossFire, the performance jumps accordingly. I would like to point out that in the review, I ran every game at 1280 x 1024 resolution as this is where most people with LCD screens will be gaming at. When this card launches in the coming days or weeks, I will be able to play with them more in-depth in our own lab and come up with a more in-depth set of results but for the meantime, from what I have seen, even by my severely CPU bound test setup, ATI has a winner in it’s hands.

I have heard of the x1950 Pro being priced well in the range of the $200 price range. If it can stay towards the lower end of that range, this card will be a no brainer. Should the x1950 Pro come in closer to $300, it’s still a great card that runs cool, makes little noise and can handle almost any game that you might throw at it.

Another great reason to lean towards the x1950 Pro is the lack of a dongle. Gone with the x1950 Pro is the need for a master card. You can purchase 2 of the same x1950 Pros and connect them with the 2 CrossFire bridges. Personally, I never had anything wrong with the old dongle, but I can see how people in close quarters could find the dongle quite cumbersome.

The x1950 Pro never got hot to the touch, even after long benching sessions. It did get warm but never hot to the touch. To reduce heat as well, ATI went with a digital voltage regulator and when added with the quiet cooler, the x1950 Pro stays cool under pressure.

    Pros

  • Fast
  • Runs Cool
  • Quiet
  • No more dongle!
  • Single slot cooling solution
  • Digital voltage regulator

As this is not a complete review, I do not have any cons at this time. My only concerns are about availability at launch as well as pricing. These issues should become less of an issue once cards hit the market and can be purchased by anyone.

In the end, I come away from the x1950 Pro happy but unfulfilled. I want them to hit the market so I can pick up a pair for myself, test them against my 7800GT, 7900GT and x1900XT. As it stands now, the x1950 Pro is looking to be a winner in the mid-range market. If pricing is right, the x1950 Pro could be a knock out home run but that’s unsure at this point. Check back when a more in-depth review can be given and take today’s offering as a first run.

Many thanks again to Kyle with All American Computers for the support and help. Without him, we would not have the access to such hardware at this time. Kyle’s support is valued and if you like what you see at Techgage, please check out his site aacdirect.com. AAC is home of the Liquid XS, one of the fastest enthusiast PCs on the planet.

Page List:
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1. Introduction
2. 3D Mark, Far Cry, Oblivion
3. Rise of Legends, Oblivion