The ATI Radeon X1950 Pro is a fantastic product that delivers exceptional value at an affordable price. Given that the ASUS Extreme AX1950Pro delivered performance that was comparable to a Radeon X1900XT in many cases, this $200 graphics card is hard to refuse. ASUS has added its own touches that help make this card more unique, perhaps the two most remarkable being the heatpipe equipped cooling solution, and a very attractive retail price.
Clocked at 580MHz and 1.4GHz (core/memory) does not make this a heavily overclocked product by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I believe ASUS bumped up the frequencies just so slightly to make their product look a bit better, though the packaging makes no special reference to overclocking, and nor does the ASUS website. That said, the Radeon X1950 Pro is not a product characterized by offering much in the way of overclocking headroom. While we were able to boost the memory frequency by some 7%, the core frequency received a meager 3% gain over its default 580MHz clock speed. This is perhaps the primary weakness of the X1950 Pro in comparison to the GeForce 7900GS which is an exceptionally good overclocker.
Even then, if I was given $200 to spend on a graphics card, my choice would certainly be a Radeon X1950 Pro and this ASUS version looks to be as good as any. Although the Extreme AX1950Pro does not come bundled with any full version games, it does come packed with a number of ASUS utilities. These software titles include ASUS Splendid, ASUS Video Security Online, ASUS Game LiveShow, ASUS Game Replay, ASUS Game FaceMessenger and ASUS OnScreenDisplay. These are all quite useful software applications and should you require one or more of them, the Extreme AX1950Pro could prove to be invaluable.
Finally, the Radeon X1950 Pro also supports native CrossFire support, though you will be required to purchase a CrossFire edition graphics card, or at the very least acquire two CrossFire bridge chips. The CrossFire edition of the Extreme AX1950Pro looks identical to the one reviewed here today, and it is in fact identical in every way with the actual difference being within the package that bundles the necessary hardware to run two X1950 Pro cards together.
As with most cards targeting the budget and mainstream sector, it is very important at what price you can really buy this cards from stores and online. ASUS seems to have one of the few X1950 Pro cards selling below the $200 mark at times, which is really a statement when other manufacturers' products can go as high as $240.