Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual
The Card - Close up
Sapphire X1950 pro Dual close up
I have to admit my first thoughts of the X1950 Pro dual were...well...more laughs than thoughts. The card is HUGE. I mean it's massive. After the initial shock died down I went about the business of getting a closer look.
The card certainly looks the part. With a nice large 80mm fan in the middle and a large finned and heatpiped cooler. On the back you can see the tensioners for the two GPU's holding the heatsink firmly in place. One thing you notice as well is that the card only takes up one slot with a single slot backplate. This is a strange decision with such a large cooler to bear the load of.Update
The news from Sapphire is that this card is a review sample and the retail card will have a double PCI-e backplate andmore importantly two lots of DVI headers for 4 monitor output
. This is fantastic news and really gives some value to the card making it a very attractive proposition for those with large multi-monitor setups.
Two Dual Link DVI ports adorn the rear of the card as well as the S-Video out that includes ATi's excellent AVIVO technology.
Additional cooling has been added by Sapphire to cool the power regulation circuitry. Nice to see that Sapphire make sure everything is running as it should.
Here we see the dual PCI-e 6-pin power connectors for this power-hungry card. The fins for those fat heatpipes are sat right above this and you can see 2 of the 4 heatpipes on the right.
Sapphire have added some branding to the cooler along the aluminium plate affixed to the GPU's. Once again two of the heatpipes are showing in the picture. Sapphire have added a backplate to each of the two X1950's to really fix that cooler securely onto the card. This is good for peace of mind.
The card has a crossfire connector onboard. This gives it the potential to have a "quad crossfire" system with four X1950 Pro cores working together. This is not yet available, but it would be a rather exciting prospect!
Once you take the cooler off the whole thing makes a little more sense and also makes the card look pretty well laid out. Each GPU has a ring of Samsung 16x 1.4ns GDDR3 memory chips. The PCI-e bridge chip sits in the middle of the two GPU's connecting them up. There sure is a lot of hardware to fit onto one PCB, pretty impressive stuff.
The RV570 sitting proud on the PCB and also the PLX 8532 PCI-e bridge chip that lets the GPU's talk to each other.
Samsung 1.4ns GDDR3 memory chips - K4J52324QE. Each card has access to 512mb of memory, making 1gb total.
The ATI Rage Theatre chip doesn't need additional cooling and sits just outside the cooler near the rear IO plate. This chip brings us the excellent AVIVO features that the high-end and HTPC ATI cards feature. It's good to see ATI haven't skimped on adding the extra features on this rather insane card.
Here you can see the rather large sized Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual. It is almost motherboard sized. In fact in some aspects it surpasses that as we will see later...
The cooler on the X1950 Pro Dual was actually pretty quiet for such a beasty cooler. At load it is audible but I did not hear the fan spin up to maximum at any point during the game or benchmark testing. This is excellent and an improvement on the stock X1950 pro coolers.Temperature
Unfortunately I did not get any scientific readings of temperature this time around, although the GPU was idling at 34°C and loading up under 3DMark06 at 58°C. This is pretty impressive for a dual GPU card.
Now let's get it running shall we?
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