Graphics Cards Guide

GeCube Gemini 2 (Dual Radeon X1650 XT) review

GeCube Gemini 2 (Dual Radeon X1650 XT)

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The GeCube Gemini 2

The GeCube Gemini 2

Our first impression of the Gemini 2 was spoilt by the noise generated by the cooler. Despite using a full copper heatsink that adds greatly to the weight of the card, the fan spins at quite a fast speed, making this card one of the noisiest we have experienced in a long time. It brings back unpleasant memories of the older Radeon X1800 series and its loud fan. Perhaps a larger but slower fan would have helped. They could have also opted for a two-slot cooler, but GeCube was clearly stressing the point of a single-slot dual GPU design, which is a noteworthy achievement.

Underneath the heatsink, we found the two GPU cores and their respective memory chips (Samsung's DDR3 memory rated at 1.2ns is used). There is also a special PLX bridge that handles communication between the two GPUs and also with the rest of the system through the PCIe bus. GeCube advertises that it has 32 PCIe lanes for switching in all but that is just the sum total. The maximum in any direction is still 16 lanes between the bridge chip and the PCIe bus while the rest are shared between the two GPUs that communicate with the bridge chip. The GPUs themselves are clocked at the standard speed of 575MHz and so are the 1350MHz DDR memory chips. Like a few other vendors, GeCube opts for the greater durability of solid capacitors and unlike the single card, a separate power connector is required for this card, understandable given the presence of two GPUs.

In case you think there is any missing functionality due to its unique design, this card is HDCP ready with built-in EEPROM keys. Video output goes through two DMS59 connections (basically high density DVI connectors), each of which is capable of supporting two DVI outputs. GeCube has provided two pairs of the DMS59 cables, which are split into two DVI connectors, giving us up to four DVI outputs like two dedicated graphics cards should. Since the Gemini 2 is still a pair of Radeon X1650 XT GPUs running in CrossFire, albeit sharing the same PCB now, only one DMS59 (the top one) is capable of booting up the system since that is linked to the so-called 'master' GPU. Connecting your monitor to the other DMS59 connector will not start up your display.

Besides the cables and two additional DVI adaptors, manual and drivers, we found no other applications or games included. This is typical of GeCube as long time followers know and should come as no surprise. The contents of the bundle are as follows:

2 x DMS59 cables
2 x DVI-to-VGA adaptors
User Manual
Driver CD