Asus X1950 Pro Crossfire (EAX1950PRO)
Author: Matthew Kemp (kempez)
Product Acquired: Asus Technology
How we tested
With the pure speed of cards out on the market at the moment I tend to focus on gameplay in my reviews. I will play each of the test suite games on as high settings as I could possibly play them at while maintaining a frame rate that is enjoyable to play at. If the quality of the gaming looks the same at different settings then I will choose the setting with the best FPS. This differs from game to game and person to person but I play a lot of games and have played with a lot of graphics cards so I hope that I can impart a decent opinion.
To offset this angle I also run a test suite of 3dMark03, 05 and 06. These will give you some numbers on what the cards perform like at stock speeds, for comparison. I also ran 3dMark06 after overclocking the cards - to see how much of an effect the overclocking will make. Overclocking on the nVidia card was performed using the nVidia "Coolbits" reg hack as discussed here in the forums. ATI overclocking is usually performed using the "Overdrive" facility in ATI's drivers, but for this card I had to use ATI tool as the beta drivers did not have this included.
For this high-end card I am using an overclocked Core2Duo E6600 running at 3.33GHz. Hopefully this will rule out as much bottleneck caused by the processor as possible.
Intel Core2Duo E6600 @ 3.33GHz
Asus P5W Dh Deluxe
Mushkin HP2 PC6400 running at SPD (CAS 5) due to motherboard restrictions
HDD: OS - 160gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
HDD: Gaming - 2 x 40gb Hitachi Deskstars in RAID 0
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
Power: PCP&C 510 SLi
Case: Lian Li PC75b Project <<|Black3D|>>
For installation I have installed the card as usual with the normal PCI-E power dongle. Checked that the card is seated correctly and powered on. I am using a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP2 with all the latest patches.
For the X1950Pro/X1950Pro Crossfire I am using modified drivers provided by Asus on their retail CD, adopted from the ATI Catalyst 6.10's.
For the nVidia cards I am using nVidia's official Forceware drivers - 91.43.
For reference I am using some figures from previously reviewed cards that used the same setup. These are provided as a reference point only and not as a direct comparison.
Powercolor X1950XT-X. Clock Speed: 650. Memory speed: 1000 (2000)
Gainward 7950 GX2. Clock Speed: 2 x 500. Memory Speed 600 (1200)
Asus EAX1950PRO. Clock Speed: 580. Memory Speed 700 (1400)
Asus EAX1950PRO Crossfire. Clock Speed: 580 (x2 physical GPU's). Memory Speed 700 (1400) (x2 physical GPU's)