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  Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX review

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ATI is now on track with a wide range of new and exciting products, the latest of which is a terrifying 48 pixel pipeline monster. Known as the Radeon X1900 this new GPU comes in two flavors.

The Radeon X1900XT features a core clock of 625MHz, matching that of the now older X1800XT. The memory frequency is slightly lower than that of the X1800XT as it has been dropped down to 1.45GHz. However, thanks to an additional 32 pixel pipelines the X1900XT is more than likely to compensate for that. The Radeon X1900XT suggested retail price is $550, but it is already selling for less at online shops, with CrossFire master cards costing about $50 more.

All that explanation to present you the even more impressive, and obviously more expensive version known as the Radeon X1900XTX featuring slightly higher memory and core frequencies. The core has been given another 25MHz bringing the overall frequency up to 650MHz. The memory frequency has been boosted from 1.45GHz up to 1.55GHz. Other than these small differences both X1900 series cards are exactly the same product.

With such specifications it would be difficult for rival products to outperform the Radeon X1900XTX; as a matter of fact NVIDIA barely matches it. Currently the Radeon X1900XTX is considered the fastest (single) graphics card available in the market. However, more importantly these brand new X1900 products are already available in large quantities. This is easily the most successful aspect of this product launch; it has been some time since ATI pulled off a hard product launch. Thankfully they managed to do it with their most powerful graphics card series yet.

Although the Radeon X1900 series will obviously replace the older X1800 series there is nothing wrong with getting an X1800 card, especially if itís at a discount. In fact the Radeon X1800XT delivers similar performance to that of the Radeon X1900XTX in most tests. It is not until the resolution and visual quality options are cranked up to their maximum settings that the X1900XTX really shows its superiority over the X1800XT.

The Card

Gigabyte uses a red PCB for all their Radeon based products and the Radeon X1900XTX is no exception. The size and physical appearance of the Radeon X1900XTX is much the same as that of the previous X1800XT. The Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX uses the ATI reference dual slot cooler, nothing extraordinary. The cooler is made up of a large, heavy copper base that uses an aluminum surrounding that extracts heat from the memory chips. The air is sucked in from inside the case, then directed over the heatsink using a large plastic heat shroud and finally vented out the rear of the case.

  

The Radeon X1900XTX core consists of more than 384 million transistors and is manufactured using a 90nm process. Despite featuring such a complex core the Radeon X1900XTX is designed to operate at very high frequencies. The total number of Raster Operation units has not changed, meaning there are still 16 texture samples taken per cycle. This means that games that use large amounts of textures will not see the Radeon X1900XTX greatly outperform the older X1800XT.

      

The Radeon X1900XTX features a new high quality Anisotropic Filtering mode designed to make textures look better than ever before. The added precision for mipmap LOD and Trilinear interpolation are designed to allow for shimmer-free gaming. Like most high-end graphics cards the Radeon X1900XTX uses two 4-pin molex connectors to draw additional power. The graphics card itself features the 6-pin PCI Express power connector which requires the adapter for power supplies that do not feature PCIe connectors. This adapter is supplied with the graphics card and is designed to draw current from two 4-pin molex connectors.



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