Specs, Cooling and Bundle
I've mentioned it briefly, but the X1950XT-X has got a cooler to really impress you. nVidia have had their top end cooler sorted for some time now. ATI's, on the other hand, have been met with general disapproval. ATI have listened to the reviewers and customer feedback and improved upon their old design.
We take a look:
Who likes the red cooler? I certainly do. That's a very nice stock design from ATI. An AIB would have to go a long way to beat a sweet cooler like this.
I couldn't resist another closer look at the body of the cooler. It's made of quite shiny plastic which may scratch in time, but when you get it you know what you're getting something special.
The rear of the card looks familiar. It's worth noting that during testing the cards backside got pretty hot, especially in 3D work. When I pulled it from the test PC I almost burnt my fingers on the metal bracket.
The power connecter end
Here's the ATI rage theatre chip - Powercolor have included this allowing ATI's excellent AVIVO technology
A nice copper cooler for the PWM's, next to one of the best features of this card's cooler - the memory sink.
The Dual dual link DVI ports supporting 2 huge resolution monitors such as the Dell 3007
Let's see what the R580 looks like naked:
Made with the 90nm low-k process by TSMC, the chip is practically the same as the X1900 - but with a few decent little tweaks from the X1900.Cooler
I took the card apart to see how it all fitted together and I was very impressed with this cooler. ATI cards are not known for being cool, but the card idled at 65°C and loaded up at 79°C - not too bad considering what I had seen the X1900 rise up to. It was a pretty hot evening in my "lab" - temperatures hovering at a pretty sweaty 28°C.
Close up of that nice big fan
The heatpipe - a single one is what ATI have decided will suffice for the card - perhaps a couple more would have kept that temperature down that little bit more...
The inside of the cooler shows us a nice flat base, though a bit of lapping certainly wouldn't go amiss to get that little bit extra contact:
Let's take another look at that memory cooler - one is just not enough. ATI have done well to make the copper look so damn funky
It's hard to find what to put in this section in all honestly. You can hear the fan spin up when you turn on the machine for 2seconds, then...silence. OK: my system is fairly noisy but with all of the fans off you can only hear a whisper. Even when it spins up to full speed you hear a movement of air, rather than the whoosh of a horrible noisy fan. ATI have sorted their cooler and it has made me very happy.
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