The ATI Radeon X1950 PRO has been launched for a couple of days now and press releases announcing the various offerings from vendors have been making the rounds. Looking through all these releases, we noticed a trend of these vendors preferring third party or in-house customized coolers. In other words, few manufacturers are using the reference ATI cooler. Instead, two-slot solutions are rather popular, with brands like ASUS, GeCube, HIS, MSI and PowerColor opting for them. One would think that most consumers would be in favor of a single-slot cooler against a larger one but it seems that the vendors have different ideas.
Therefore, we can't help but wonder if ATI's reference cooler may not be as good as advertised or it's just the vendors trying to differentiate their products. All this speculation is academic until we get our hands on a reference design. However, it doesn't seem to be the case today as ASUS sent us its EAX1950PRO 256MB, which uses a non-standard two-slot cooler. Here's a snap of it: