Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX

Review

posted 4/5/2006 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC

We’ve gone through a few mid-range cards here at Gaming Nexus but it’s time to pull out the big guns. The GN labs has run through many Sapphire cards throughout our online career and we’re back again with another one from the #1 partner of ATI as specified by ATI CEO David Orton. Let’s get to the Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX and see how this beast of a card fares.


Sapphire X1900 XTX

The Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX is Sapphire’s current flagship card.  It’s a PCI Express card is based on the R580 chip built on the 90nm process and features a whopping 512MB of DDR ram. Clock speeds are at 650MHz for the core and 775 MHz for the memory. Other features nclude 48 pixel shader processors, 8 vertex shader processers, 16 ROPs, and 16 texture units. The 48 pixel shader units should make you do a double take as the previous X1800 XT card only features 16 pixel shader units. ATI is banking on that games in the future will be more pixel shader intensive thus the big increase in that area. The change has almost tripled the amount of pixel shader operations the card can do in one second.  

With all the power this card has, you’ll be able to enable advanced features such as HDR or high dynamic range. HDR adjusts the brightness of light according to how you are looking at a lighted object. So if you’re staring straight into a very bright light, you’ll see a very bright and over exposed light source. It’s being used in many Xbox 360 games and many next generation PC games. You’ll be able to run some games using both HDR and anti-aliasing enabled, which was a problem earlier on. This will be game dependent as some will need to be updated to take advantage of it.

Crossfire capability is also here and you’ll need the requisite X1900 Crossfire edition card to pair this puppy up with along with a Crossfire motherboard. Interestingly enough, the X1900 Crossfire card runs a little slower than the X1900 XTX card coming in at 625MHz for the Core and 725MHz for the memory. This matches the X1900 XT card but I’m curious as to why the Crossfire edition didn’t match the X1900 XTX. Perhaps the price of the Crossfire master card, which does run at a $50 premium, would’ve been too high for ATI. In any case, you’ll be able to run two X1900 cards together with the right setup and be set for some serious video power.

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