Graphics Cards Guide

ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB review

ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB DDR4

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It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

Today marks the release of three new ATI reinforcements spanning all three major price categories. These new cards represent ATI's hopes of getting the final say in the clash between its latest generation of Radeon X1K graphics processors with NVIDIA's GeForce 7 series. While the performance between the flagship processors from both sides were comparable, ATI has arguably emerged worse in the retail market due to the higher manufacturing cost of its larger and more complex architecture. This has allowed NVIDIA to seize the price performance advantage. However, ATI hasn't given up the fight yet by getting its engineers to work on improving existing cards. Besides developing the next generation R600 core, they've apparently had the time to revise its existing lineup and plan new products that are better placed to compete against NVIDIA in both technology and price. Here then are the newcomers:

Model ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB ATI Radeon X1650 PRO ATI Radeon X1300 XT
Transistor Count 384 million 157 million 157 million
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.09 0.09 0.09
Core Clock 650MHz 600MHz 500MHz
Vertex Shaders 8 5 5
Pixel Shader Processors 48 12 12
Memory Clock 2000MHz DDR4 1400MHz DDR/DDR2/DDR3 800MHz DDR/DDR2/DDR3
DDR Memory Bus 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Ring Bus Memory Controller 512-bit (for memory reads only) 256-bit (for memory reads only) 256-bit (for memory reads only)
Multi GPU Technology Yes (CrossFire) Yes (CrossFire) Yes (CrossFire)
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 1 x Single Link 1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single Link 1 x Dual-Link
Street Price US$449 USS$99 US$89

Our main focus in this article is the Radeon X1950 XTX and its R580+ core, which is exactly the same as the original R580 in terms of architecture, features and specifications. However, the crucial difference performance-wise seems to be banking on support for GDDR4 memory type in the new flagship product with a staggering debut clock speed of 2.0GHz DDR. Thermal and noise output are also predicted to be lower as well, thanks to a newly redesigned cooler. Before we get to that, here's a look at its technical specifications compared to the rest of the high-end alumnus.

ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB DDR4 Technical Specifications
Model ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB ATI Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX 256MB
Core Code R580+ R580 R580 G71 G71
Transistor Count 384 million 384 million 384 million 2 x 278 million 278 million
Manufacturing Process (microns) 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.09
Core Clock 650MHz 650MHz 625MHz 500MHz 650MHz
Vertex Shaders 8 8 8 2 x 8 8
Rendering (Pixel) Pipelines 16 16 16 2 x 24 24
Pixel Shader Processors 48 48 48 2 x 24 24
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) 16 16 16 2 x 24 24
Raster Operator units (ROP) 16 16 16 2 x 16 16
Memory Clock 2000MHz DDR4 1550MHz DDR3 1450MHz DDR3 1200MHz DDR3 1600MHz DDR3
DDR Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 2 x 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 64.0GB/s 49.6GB/s 46.4GB/s 76.8GB/s 51.2GB/s
Ring Bus Memory Controller 512-bit (for memory reads only) 512-bit (for memory reads only) 512-bit (for memory reads only) NIL NIL
PCI Express Interface x16 x16 x16 x16 x16
Molex Power Connectors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi GPU Technology Yes (CrossFire) Yes (CrossFire) Yes (CrossFire) Yes (SLI, Quad SLI) Yes (SLI)
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
Street Price US$449 ~ US$429 - 499 ~ US$369 - 399 ~ US$549 - 609 ~ US$429 - 485