Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX review

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The Card (continued)

The card features 512MB of onboard GDDR3 memory clocked at 775MHz (1550MHz DDR). These cards utilized Samsung IC’s (K4J52324QC-BJ11) and it would appear that the majority of Radeon X1900XTX based cards will use similar Samsung memory. After some quick research, I have found that these modules are rated at 1800MHz DDR. This means the memory on our Gigabyte card should provide quite a lot of overclocking headroom. Whilst in action the Radeon X1900XTX fan volume level is quite pleasant for the most part, it does increase the throttle when under load. However, unlike the Gigabyte X1800XT this X1900XTX graphics card does not appear to generate all that much noise when gaming. Perhaps, Gigabyte dialed down the fans sensitivity.

    

    

Although the operating volume is not something I would concern myself with, the power requirement for this graphics cards is, particularly when in CrossFire mode. The need for a good quality power supply is a must in any high-end gaming system. Those that utilize the power of SLI or CrossFire technology will need a bare minimum of 500w, often even this wattage rating is not enough. Although I am yet to test two Radeon X1900XTX cards in CrossFire mode, I can confirm that a single card generates a great deal of heat on its own.

The rear of the Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX features an S-Video port supporting the Video-In/Video-Out function and dual DVI outputs. There are also a number of cables supplied with the card which will help the user utilize some of these features. The package also features a number of software titles as well as Gigabyte’s own overclocking utility. Overall, the Radeon X1900XTX looks to be a quality product with many unique aspects.

Utilities & Packaging

Considering a single Radeon X1900XTX graphics card costs roughly $600 (street prices are currently in the $500-600 range, depending on the brand you choose); Gigabyte definitely needed an eye catching way to get their product noticed. For the consumer it is often difficult to choose the right product, with so many to choose from, even shipping in a sleek fancy box can help the sales. Gigabyte knows how important it is to stand out on a shelf full of graphics cards and has therefore created a very elaborate looking box.

    

There are also a number of cables including a TV Out cable, Video In cable and DVI-I to D-Sub adapter. Gigabyte has also included their own software title called “V-Tuner2”, designed to help the user easily overclock their graphics cards memory and core. Overall, the package contents are sufficient, though it does suggest that Gigabyte is trying to offer a reasonably cheap Radeon X1900XTX graphics card. By this I mean as cheap as a Radeon X1900XTX graphics card gets, which is still of course very expensive.

Test System Specs

  • Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (3.46GHz)

  • ASUS P5N32-SLI Deluxe

  • 2x 1024MB Corsair XMS PC5400 CAS3

  • Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX (512mb), Radeon X1800XT (512mb), and GeForce 7800 GTX (256mb)

  • Seagate 250GB 7200rpm SATA

  • Windows XP Professional SP2 (32-bit)

The Gigabyte Radeon X1900XTX was tested using three different quality configurations. First without AA/AF at 1600x1200 and 1280x1024 resolutions. Then using 4xAA/8xAF settings at those same resolutions.

Finally, on its maximum settings at 6xAA/16xAF for ATI cards and 8xAA/16xAF for NVIDIA cards. The card was also compared to the Gigabyte Radeon X1800XT and GeForce 7800 GTX graphics cards. Unfortunately we could not test against NVIDIA’s recently launched GeForce 7900 GTX card, although from these tests done at Anandtech, we can observe that the Radeon X1900XTX is still performance king as a single card solution.

We did not test SLI/CrossFire performance, where usually NVIDIA has got the lead.



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