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ATI's new DDR 4 X1950 XTX is a wunder kid

First INQpressions Slightly faster and overclocked to 690 / 2180
Wed Aug 23 2006, 11:34
WE HAD a chance to play with the ATI's top offer card, an existing update from the yesterday faster X1900 XTX card.

The card is yet again based on the R580 core, the new revision that ATI likes to call R580+. The card works at 650 MHz core but it uses brand new DDR 4 memory working at 2000MHz this time.

The new memory means a faster card but as the clock is still locked at 650MHz it doesn't mean that the performance will blow your brain out, but the price certainly will.

ATI plans to sell this card for $399 in the US and €399 including VAT in Euroland. It is a great price for the board and ATI definitely wants to put even more pressure on Nvidia's 7950GX2 cards that are currently winning the benchmarks.

alt='leapzig'

ATI finally redesigned the cooler and made the heaviest graphic card in its desktop history as there is a lot of copper inside the cooler and it bears a spooky resemblance to the Arctic cooler.

It is really silent - that's what you should care about. You can also overclock the card and it works at 700/2200 MHz as well, and will be totally stable at 689/2178MHz.

These is not much to say about the chip as the only modification we've noted is the support for GDDR 4 memory. The rest is the same as with other R580 cards also known as Radeon X1900 XTX series.

We gave it a try versus Radeon X1900XTX card clocked at 650MHz core and 1550MHz GDDR 3 memory. There was not much of a difference. We tried to overclock and that's when we saw a bit of a delta.

Benchmarketing
We used :
Foxconn C51XE M2aa Nforce 590 SLI motherboard Athlon FX 62 2800 MHz 90 nanometre Windsor core
2x1024 MB DDR2 Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 memory
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA NCQ hard drive
Thermaltake Mini Typhoon Athlon 64/X2/FX cooler and Intel CPU's
Silverstone Strider ST60F, 600W ATX 2.0 SATA
alt='leapzigtwo'

We tested our usual set of benchmarks and decided to compare the R580+ based Radeon X1950XTX with its older R580 based Radeon X1900 XTX brother and Sanjin managed to get the card stabile at 689 / 2178 MHz. If we had more time maybe we could tweak some voltages and go even further but this was totally not necessary.

Doom 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
133.8
124.4
106.7
70.0
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
134.7
126.8
110.3
73.1
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
135.1
128.8
114.2
77.2
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
118.9
94.6
72.2
46.3
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
121.6
99.1
75.9
48.4
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
124.2
103.2
80.2
51.2
? ? ? ? ?
Far Cry High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
93.60
93.42
91.25
66.07
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
93.78
93.29
92.81
74.04
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
94.51
94.16
93.47
78.14
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4
OK 1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
148.6
142.5
137.6
115.4
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
149.1
144.5
137.6
117.0
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
150.9
144.6
139.3
121.0
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
140.0
131.8
114.2
90.2
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
141.7
134.4
122.4
94.5
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
142.5
135.4
124.9
98.7
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR
OK 1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
130
106
82
53
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
137
108
85
56
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
138
112
88
59
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
102
77
54
35
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
105
79
57
36
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
109
82
59
39
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
156.7
154.1
139.6
103.6
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
156.7
154.0
142.9
109.0
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
156.8
154.8
146.2
115.1
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam HDR
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
149.6
122.2
87.4
61.8
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
150.5
127.1
92.4
64.5
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
152.6
132.9
98.0
68.6
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
137.7
113.3
91.3
65.1
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
140.5
120.2
99.1
70.9
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
144.3
126.4
104.7
75.3
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam High Quality HDR + FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
93.5
68.7
49.6
27.3
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
103.8
77.1
55.6
30.8
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
109.2
81.9
59.0
32.8
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
3DMark 03
Game2
Game3
Game3
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
19233
155.3
115.2
123.6
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
19656
159.2
116.7
126.1
ATI X1950XTXOC 700/2200 MHz
20728
170.9
123.2
132.6
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Vertex Shader
Pixel Shader 2.0
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
4338.9
9854.9
67.3
213.7
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
5346.0
10005.9
67.7
219.7
ATI X1950XTXOC 700/2200 MHz
5734.4
10699.4
70.7
226.6
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
3DMark 05
Game1
Game2
Game2
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
12129
52.8
34.6
62.5
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
12348
52.9
35.1
65.0
ATI X1950XTX OC 700/2200 MHz
12815
53.3
37.0
68.3
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
5060.8
10237.4
439.4
141.8/61.9
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
6307.2
10209.2
456.6
147.9/61.9
ATI X1950XTX OC 700/2200 MHz
6711.2
10971.8
475.1
154.5/62.3
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 06
3DMark 06
? ?
ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
6067
? ? ?
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
6283
? ? ?
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
6566
? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
SM2.0 Test
Score
GT1
GT2


ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
2348
18.127
21.007
?
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
2457
19.281
21.669
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
2594
20.405
22.828
? ? ? ? ?
HDR/SM3.0 Test
Score
HDR1
HDR2


ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
2619
25.299
27.078
?
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
2722
26.317
28.118
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
2869
27.705
29.680
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
Score
CPU1
CPU2


ATI X1900XTX 650/1550 MHz
2150
0.679
1.089
?
ATI X1950XTX 650/2000 MHz
2153
0.679
1.093
ATI X1950XTX OC 689/2178 MHz
2156
0.680
1.094
Doom 3 shows a slight affection to a new X1950 XTX card. Despite the massive memory lock difference the new card manages to stay only one to four frames ahead of the old one. Overclocked card can run seven frames faster than the non overclocked card and that is the best case scenario. Interesting enough the difference remains even with FSAA and Aniso on and stays at two and five frames. We expected more. Overclocked card is up to eight frames faster.

Quake 4 again stays between one and two frames faster. The overclocked card can manage to run six frames faster and that is only the case at 20x15 highest resolution that we test. Quake 4 FSAA 4X and Aniso 8X runs eight frames faster at 16x12 and this is the best case scenario. Radeon X1950XTX overclocked at 689 / 2178 MHz runs ten frames faster but only two frames faster from the default clocked card.

FEAR can show the difference. The new card runs two to three frames faster except at 10x7 where it manages to outperform the old X1900 by seven frames. Overclocked card is three to four frames faster than the default clocked one. The card can not even put a stand when you turn the settings and stays one to three frames faster, while the overclocked card is one to three frames faster than the non overclocked one.

Serious Sam 2 performs almost identical in all cards in the first two resolutions but it manages to run three to six frames faster at the last two resolutions. Overclocked card is six frames faster at 20x15 and that is the biggest difference. Once you turn the HDR on the card runs three to five frames faster than the older one and you gain five to six additional frames by overclocking.

Serious Sam 2 with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso runs even seven to eight frames faster than the old card. Overclocked card is up to thirteen frames faster than the old card and up to six frames faster than the default clock.

Serious Sam 2 with 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso and HDR makes nine to ten frames difference at first two resolutions and then it narrows to six at 16x12 and finally settles at only three frames difference at 20x15. Even the mightiest ATI card gets to only 30.8 or 32.8 FPS at such a high settings and the highest of 4:3 resolution 2048x1536.

The Radeon X1950XTX is just 400 points faster than the previous card, when you overclock it you gain an additional 1000 more points. In 3Dmark05 there is only a 200 points difference, and even the overclocked card works just 500 faster than the non overclocked one. 3Dmark06 yet again runs just 200 marks faster than with the previous card, while the overclocked card runs 300 points faster. The new card failed to impress even in 3Dmark tests.

In Short
We are not impressed with the X1950XTX card. We expected more but the card failed to meet our expectations. It is obvious that even for 2048x1536 resolution you don't need that much memory bandwidth. The card is up to seven per cent faster and that is all you are going to get from it.

At the same time, it is really just a memory upgrade of the existing marchitecture, but we have to mention that the new cooler actually works very silently and keeps the card at an average of between 65 to 70 degrees Celsius.

It will run a little bit faster than the previous card and if you overclock it, it will run faster than that. The great thing about this card is that it will cost just €399 and I think the price and super silent cooler will work on the cards advantage. If you have X1800 generation or older card I can recommend this one. It will make you super happy but don't recommend X1900 supporters to go for this. You still need a master card but this time the master card also works at 650 MHz core and 2000 MHz memory and costs the same, €399 including VAT.

The R600 is the real refresh and we will shortly bring you the scores of X1900XTX versus Nvidia's top Geforce 7950 GX2 dual chip card. ?

Reviewed and tested by Sanjin Rados and Fuad Abazovic

 

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