Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual

Introduction, Packaging, Package and Specification

Introduction

Sapphire are one of ATI's major AIB (add-in-board) manufacturer's and with that they usually make all sorts of exciting cards for us to play with. While awaiting the r600 (ATI's latest and greatest), Sapphire have taken the rather excellent X1950 pro and given it a new lease of life as one card...with two GPU's on it.

With a huge card and an even huger cooler, the X1950 pro Dual certainly looks the part. We take it through it's paces to see if it "walks the talk".

Packaging

The packaging on the X1950 Pro Dual is decidedly Sapphire's style. With the usual CGI character we have come to know and love from them the box also has a large window to show off the beast inside. This is certainly something that would stand out on the shelves.
 
sapphire x1950 pro dual sapphire x1950 pro dual box
The box is also very well packed with the Styrofoam keeping card nicely safe and secure from damage during transit.
sapphire x1950 pro dual internal box

Overall a decent job of packaging the card from Sapphire, if a little gaudy for some tastes.

Package

The package with the card is pretty decent, if lacking in software bundled in. Included is:

* 2 x Dual molex to PCI-e power dongle
* S-Video > S-Video connector
* S-Video > Component connector
* S-Video > Composite connector
* 2 x DVI > VGA connector
* Sapphire branded driver CD
Update from Sapphire
The retail edition will include a version of 3DMark06, making this a more compelling bundle.

sapphire x1950 pro dual package

As I said: not bad but nothing special.

Specification

The specs of the card are as follows:

 X1900GTX1950 GTX1950 proX195 Pro Dual
Pixel Shaders3636362 x 36
Vertex pipes8882 x 8
ROP's1212122 x 12
GPUrv570rv570rv5702 x rv570
Memory Size256 mb256 mb512 mb2 x 512 mb
memory Bus Width256 bit256 bit256 bit2 x 256 bit
Core Clock575 MHz500 MHz575 MHz2 x 580 Mhz
Memory Clock600Mhz600 MHz700MHz2 x 700MHz

As you can see Sapphire have kept many of features of the X1950 Pro and just added another GPU. Sapphire have also upped the core clock a little, meaning that their cooling solution must be pretty efficient.
Features

* 2x 36 pixel shader processors
* 2x 8 vertex shader processors
* 2x 256-bit 8 channel GDDR3 memory interface
* Native PCI Express® x16 bus interface

Shader Technology
* Support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware.
* Shader Model 3.0 vertex and pixel shader support:
* Full speed 32-bit floating point processing
* High dynamic range rendering with floating point blending and anti-aliasing support
* High performance dynamic branching and flow control
* Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® 2.0

Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering
* 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes:
* Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
* New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing mode
* Temporal Anti-Aliasing
* Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, up to and including widescreen HDTV
* 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes:
* Up to 128-tap texture filtering
* Adaptive algorithm with performance and quality options
* Improved rendering with higher subpixel precision and LOD computation levels
* New rotational high quality rendering mode

3Dc+TM - Advanced Texture Compression
* High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and luminance maps
* Works with any single-channel or two-channel data format
Ring Bus Memory Controller * Programmable arbitration logic maximizes memory efficiency, software upgradeable
* New fully associative texture, color, and Z cache design
* Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
* Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
* Fast Z-Buffer Clear
* Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
* Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, up to and including widescreen HDTV

AvivoTM Video and Display Engine
* New advanced video capabilities, including high fidelity gamma, color correction and scaling
* Dual independent display controllers that support true 30 bits per pixel throughout the display pipe
* Full symmetry on both heads
* Each display interface supports display resolutions beyond 2560x1600
* Advanced DVI capabilities, including 10-bit, 16-bit HDR output
* YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
* Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
* MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration:
* DXVA support
* Hardware motion compensation, iDCT, DCT and color space conversion
* All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
* Adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing and frame rate conversion (temporal filtering)

CrossFireTM
* Multi-GPU technology
* Four modes of operation:
* Alternate frame rendering for maximum performance
* Supertiling for optimal load-balancing
* Scissoring for compatibility
* Super AA for maximum image quality
* Native CrossFire support simplifies setup by requiring no dedicated slave or master hardware
* 24-bit CrossFire connection enables high resolutions and refresh rates
* Supports the broadest range of platforms for both Intel and AMD

All in all a pretty nice specification if your after one of these cards. More on the X1950 Pro here.
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Most Recent Comments

03-05-2007, 05:06:26

FarFarAway
We take a look at this new ATI beast and see how it does

link

03-05-2007, 05:45:10

Toxcity
For an ATI card I am impressed with the performance!

I am not an ATI fan but that it pretty.

Nice review!

03-05-2007, 06:05:20

FarFarAway
Dunno about pretty

Pretty huge maybe?

03-05-2007, 06:23:53

llwyd
Pretty nasty point drop at high res in 3Dmark tbh

03-05-2007, 06:33:18

FarFarAway
Ye which was strange as gaming it didn't do too badly. 3DMark I always take with a pinch of salt but it is a bit disappointing

03-05-2007, 08:07:45

FarFarAway
UPDATE:

Sapphire have said that the retail version comes with 3DMark06 and more importantly 4 DVI outputs for a 4 monitor setup.

Pretty cool.

03-05-2007, 08:31:33

Nagaru
Good review, seems like a cool product, just a little late in the game. Hate to nit pick but on page 3 under Test Setup and Notes it says "To test these high-end nVidia cards I set a PC that gives as little of a bottleneck as possible." Again sorry to be annoying.

03-05-2007, 08:32:35

FarFarAway
Oops

03-05-2007, 08:35:18

Toxcity
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
UPDATE:

Sapphire have said that the retail version comes with 3DMark06 and more importantly 4 DVI outputs for a 4 monitor setup.

Pretty cool.
WOAH! Free 3Dmark06!!

And 4 monitors on one card, thats pretty damn good!

But who uses 4 monitors!? :eh:

03-05-2007, 08:36:30

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'

But who uses 4 monitors!? :eh:
Someone with 4 eyes?

03-05-2007, 08:45:54

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='XMS'
Someone with 4 eyes?
That was painful to read lol

The review is decent, as always.

Personally, I think the product is weak. It is dx9, overpriced (almost as much as a GTS but fails to perform as well, again, it is not dx10 either) stupidly large and... Almost pointless. IMO.

Look forward to seeing the HD2900XT

03-05-2007, 09:28:24

Rastalovich
Would u think again if they have an inside inclin that Dx10 might not be with us til Q4.2008 ?

(not a fact, just speculation)

Still pricey imo, I`d still lean the 8800 way if I`m looking to spend around $350.

05-05-2007, 12:09:26

TJS
Wouldn't touch it with the 8800GTS 320mb beating it in benchmarks and having DX10. The only thing nVidia has to do to really put the grind into ATI is make SLI usable with 2 or more monitors. The dual GPU thing just doesn't do it, ATI needs to come out with DX10 GPU's, and make the cards smaller not bigger. If I were ATI and wanted to come out swinging against nVidia, that would be priority #2--- a smaller video card. Priority #1 would be making the GPU less power hungry while still making faster/powerful cores. With the AMD merger, I don't know whats keeping this from happening because they're pretty much giving up on a market they once ruled but are repeatedly losing sight of.

TJS
Reply
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