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.


sapphire x1950 pro dual sapphire x1950 pro dual rear

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.

sapphire x1950 pro dual

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.

sapphire x1950 pro dual

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.

sapphire x1950 pro dual fins and power sapphire x1950 pro dual

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 x1950 pro dual branding sapphire x1950 pro dual backplate

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.

sapphire x1950 pro dual crossfire connectors

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!

sapphire x1950 pro dual naked sapphire x1950 pro dual cooler off

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.

sapphire x1950 pro chip sapphire x1950 pro dual pci link chip

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 memory

Samsung 1.4ns GDDR3 memory chips - K4J52324QE. Each card has access to 512mb of memory, making 1gb total.

sapphire x1950 pro dual rage theatre

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.

sapphire x1950 pro dual size

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

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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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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