Graphics Cards Guide

GeCube Gemini 2 (Dual Radeon X1650 XT) review

GeCube Gemini 2 (Dual Radeon X1650 XT)

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It's been a while since we saw the last of those giant dual graphics cards that integrated two graphics core on a single PCB. Usually, these custom cards are created as a demonstration of a manufacturer's innovation (or hubris) and more often than not displayed exclusively at conventions or trade shows. There were few of these cards for retail and those that were sold were hideously expensive - NVIDIA's official dual-GPU card, the GeForce 7950 GX2 being the rare and successful exception.

By our reckoning, the last two we experienced firsthand were the dual GeForce 6800 GT cards from ASUS and Gigabyte . After the initial excitement generated by these behemoths dwindled, they quickly faded from the limelight. Nevertheless, that has not stopped vendors from trying. GeCube has been one of those who have attempted at such a card with the Gemini, which featured dual Radeon X1600 XT processors. First seen at last year's CeBIT, the prototype was never released commercially. However, it seems that GeCube has not given up on the idea and the introduction of ATI's Radeon X1650 XT has revived the Gemini.

Dubbed the Gemini 2, this new dual GPU graphics card has two Radeon X1650 XT cores on a single PCB. Remarkably, GeCube has managed to keep the cooler to a single slot despite the additional complexity of cooling two cores. Outfitted with a heavy, full copper heatsink and capable of powering up to four monitors through custom connectors, this graphics card has been modified to run ATI's Native CrossFire through a PLX bridge chip that links the two GPUs via an 8-lane bus and at the same time, communicates via 16 lanes with the PCIe bus. While we have seen examples of dual GPUs using SLI, this is probably the first time we have seen a CrossFire version. And unlike the last Gemini, Gemini 2 will be available for enthusiasts.