Graphics Cards Guide

Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB review

Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB

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The Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB

The Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB

With practically all these high-end cards manufactured under the auspices of ATI, Sapphire only made the trivial change of pasting its own decals on the cooler. You can expect the same treatment from any other vendor for a Radeon X1900 card. So far, we haven't heard of any manufacturer overclocking the Radeon X1900 XTX out of the box so the likely frequencies that you can find are what we found on the Sapphire: 650MHz for the core and 1550MHz for its Samsung 1.1ns memory chips. This represents, on paper, a 4% increase in core clock speed and 7% for the memory when compared with a Radeon X1900 XT.

With such small increases, we doubt that the Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB will have as much an impact on benchmarks and games as the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB did when compared to its 256MB version. Although a Radeon X1900 CrossFire Edition card exists, its clock speed specification mimics that of the Radeon X1900 XT and not the higher end XTX version. Hence if you do get this Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX graphics card (which is a CrossFire ready slave card) and wish to CrossFire it, you won't exactly gain twice the processing throughout due to the CrossFire Edition companion card..

ATI has continued to use the same cooler for both the Radeon X1800 and the X1900 series. And so this noisy two-slot cooler, which can make quite a racket when at full blast, returns to our labs. To its credit, there seems to be some minor improvement. By default the smart fan is throttled by the drivers, such that at idle, it spins at less than 2000 rpm. This does not make the Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB the quietest of graphics cards but the noise is comparable to some high-end cards. The fan will spin faster during benchmarking/gaming and other graphically intensive activities but while audible, it doesn't get on our nerves yet. However, if you are engaged in overclocking, you may choose to adjust the fan speed higher. In our opinion though, anything above 4000 rpm with that cooler will probably contribute to higher stress levels from its noise.

Sapphire's bundle for its Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB is typical of its recent high-end ones, with a choice of two relatively new games offered from its Sapphire Select program of four. The CyberLink PowerDVD and PowerDirector included in the package are also the newest versions available and together with the comprehensive cables and accessories included, the entire bundle is a very worthy complement to the expensive hardware. Here's a breakdown of what you would get:-

  • 2 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • S-Video extension cable
  • Composite extension cable
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component dongle
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Composite/S-Video dongle
  • 6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
  • User Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Driver CD (Catalyst 5.13)
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 6.0
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 3DE
  • Sapphire Select (Choose 2 from Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Richard Burns Rally, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30)