ASUS has previously gone with the traditional ATI red PCB for all their Radeon based products and the Extreme AX1950Pro is no exception. The size and physical appearance of the Radeon X1950 Pro is much the same as its older brother the Radeon X1950XTX. The card features a custom cooler that differs from the reference single slot design. The heatsink features a small copper insert which is designed to extract heat from the X1950 Pro GPU. Connected to the copper base is a single heatpipe which quickly moves the heat to a large array of fins. Finally, cooling this large heatsink is a 60mm blower type fan.
Unlike the ATI reference cooling solution, the ASUS heatsink and fan combo found on the Extreme AX1950Pro makes very little noise even when under load. The performance of this heatsink was nothing extraordinary, though it did manage to keep the GPU cool enough to deliver rock solid performance throughout all testing. Surprisingly, the heatsink is very light, making the X1950 Pro much lighter than the X1950XTX which features a 100% copper heatsink.
The Radeon X1950 Pro core consists of more than 330 million transistors and is manufactured using an 80nm process. Despite featuring such a complex core, the Radeon X1950 Pro is designed to operate at very high frequencies. Like most high-end graphics cards, the Radeon X1950 Pro requires additional power through a 6-pin PCIe power connector. This PCIe power cable is of course supplied with the graphics card and is designed to draw current from a 4-pin molex connector.
The card features 256MB onboard GDDR3 memory clocked at 700MHz (1.4GHz DDR). The Extreme AX1950Pro utilizes Samsung IC's (K4J55323QG-BC14) and it would appear that the majority of Radeon X1950 Pro based cards will use similar memory. After some quick research, I found that these modules are rated at 1.4GHz DDR. This means the memory on our ASUS card is operating at its maximum intended frequency, making overclocking headroom most likely limited.
The rear of the ASUS Extreme AX1950Pro 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 including a HDTV cable, which will help the user utilize some of these features. Overall, the Extreme AX1950Pro looks to be a quality product.
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