Asus X1950 Pro Crossfire (EAX1950PRO)

A closer Look - Asus EAX1950PRO

The Card

Asus has implemented their own cooler on their X1950 Pro. With a sleek white design topped with a nice looking mesh on top Asus have done a good job in the design stakes. The heatpipe peering out of the top of the cooler gives this reviewer some confidence in Asus' cooling solution: heatpipe's are a good thing as far as graphics cards are concerned.

asus x1950 pro front asus x1950 pro back

The rear of the card looks fairly familiar; although notice the slightly different location of the power circuitry for the moved PCI-e power connector. You can also see the dual-link crossfire gold-plated connections on the top of the PCB very similar to nVidia's implementation.

asus x1950 pro asus x1950 pro review

asus x1950 pro crossfire

The power connector is in the middle of the board on the Asus cards. This doesn't present any cable tidying issues although it's very marginally harder to get to if you have a case loaded up with as many goodies as mine is.

asus x1950 pro power

Here we can see the heatpipe in all it's glory. Asus have chosen to go with an aluminium heatsink with a copper contact area. This keeps the card fairly cool under load as you will see below.

asus x1950 pro heatpipe

You have to be aware that this does stick up slightly (1.5-2cm) from the top of the card so people with very small cases should be aware.

The Asus X1950 Pro features Dual DVI connectors and the card also has HDCP implemented as standard. This is excellent news for those wishing to purchase this for the future as Vista will eventually require a card with HDCP coded into it.

asus X1950 pro

An S-Video connector is included so you can plug the card straight into your hi-def TV.

Specifications

o Ultra Threaded Shader Engine

Support of DirectX9 Programmable Vertex and Pixel Shaders
VS3.0 Vertex Shader functionality
# 1280 Instructions (Unlimited with flow control)
# Single Cycle Trigonometric Operations (SIN & COS)
PS3.0 Pixel Shaders
# Ultra Thread Pixel Shader Engine
# Fast Dynamic Branching
# Single Precision 128-bit Floating Point (FP32) Processing
# 16 textures per rendering pass
# 32 temporary and constant registers per pixel
# Facing register for two-sided lighting
# Multiple render target support
# Shadow volume rendering acceleration
# 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point colour formats

o Advanced Image Quality Features
+ HDR Blending on FP16, Int10 and Custom Formats
# All Blending modes work with all Anti-Aliasing Modes
3Dc+ Normal Map Compression
# High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
# Two Channel & Single Channel format support
2x/4x/6x Multi-Sampling full scene Anti-Aliasing modes, adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns and colour buffer compression
Adaptive Anti-Aliasing for Transparent Surfaces
Temporal Anti-Aliasing
Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
High Quality, Angle Invariant, Anisotropic Filter Mode
2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
4Kx4X texture Support

o Memory Controller

Internal Ring Bus Architecture (RV530)
Programmable Arbitration Logic
Fully Associative Caches
3-level, Floating Point, Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 48:1)
Fast Z-Buffer Clear
Z Cache Optimisations for shadow rendering
Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions

o AVIVO

+ Dual 10-bit Display Pipelines
+ Dual Integrated Dual Link TMDS Transmitters, Dual 400MHz RAMDACS, Xilleon Derived TV Output.
+ Hardware Accelerated H.264 Decode

 

The card features Samsung's K4J55323QG GDDR3 modules rated at 1.4ns and Asus have chosen to clock this at 700MHz (1400), which is exactly what this translates to.

Cooling

As stated previously, Asus have implemented their own cooling on the card. The cooler features a fairly compact fan that draws air over some fins connected to the heatpipe. Heatpipes are very efficient at drawing heat away from area's that need to be cool and so it's good to see Asus implementing this.

asus x1950 pro cooler

The downsize of this cooler is that it does suffer from a whooshing sound when it's under full load and if you have a particularly quiet system you may notice a slight whirring at idle. This is not to say it is a loud cooler, but if you are a totally silent PC user then this card will get mildly annoying.

asus x1950 [pro cooler

One thing that I was slightly disappointed at was the fact that the cooler takes up two slots. This meant I had to move my X-Fi down to the lowest PCI port when I ran two of the X1950 Pro's in Crossfire mode. I think that Asus could have implemented a single-slot cooler on this card, considering the stock ATI reference board uses a single slot cooler. This is only a minor point if you are not going for the fully fledged Crossfire.

I loaded up Rivatuner to check the temperature of the cards in Crossfire and this stayed at a very nice and cool 41°C at idle and 57°C load (ambient 23°C).

All in all it's a nice solution from Asus and certainly would make your case look pretty neat with it's understated looks and aggressive heatpipe.

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Most Recent Comments

13-11-2006, 04:47:18

FarFarAway
We get a couple of these awesome VFM cards and put them through their paces in single card and Crossfire config

click

13-11-2006, 06:13:51

FragTek
Nice review, and great cards to boot!!

13-11-2006, 06:15:36

FarFarAway
For £133 they're v. good value

13-11-2006, 07:17:22

Ham
Thats prob the best price: performance card ive see... well ever.

14-11-2006, 11:54:02

TJS
Definitely too late, unless you're on a tight budget. With the onslaught of nVidia's DX10 8800GTX's and GTS's, I don't see them selling very well, especially when nVidia starts slinging mid-range DX10 GT's into the market. (Is the 'GTS' supposed to be the 'GT' version? I'm a bit confused right now.)

TJS

14-11-2006, 14:08:08

FarFarAway
No I have to say £133 for a GPU that performs that well is an absolute bargain. no diggedy no doubt

21-11-2006, 22:03:28

Mr. Popo
Great job reviewing those bad boys!

22-11-2006, 01:10:10

liqnit
Great review

i love that Asus have been so fast to amend their mistake

22-11-2006, 05:05:48

FarFarAway
Yeah I was pretty impressed by that too: good work by Asus imo

22-11-2006, 05:25:00

Toxcity
OoOOoooo!

Cheap as chips!

If I wasn't a Nvidia homeboy I would get one...

06-02-2007, 13:33:18

dada
good review really helping me decide on a graphics card

06-02-2007, 13:36:02

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='dada'
good review really helping me decide on a graphics card
Excellent that's what we like to hear

06-02-2007, 15:08:54

Mr. Popo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Excellent that's what we like to hear
Good stuff indeed.
Reply
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