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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Friday, 15 June 2007 10:14

Power Color X1950PRO AGP - 2. Testbed

Written by Sanjin Rados

Image

Review: Still the best ATI AGP card


It has been half a year now since we've seen ATI's Radeon X1950PRO, the latest treat for AGP users. While in the meantime many things happened on the PCIe front, AGP still stands still. It seems it will stay that way until the first DirectX 10 AGP cards reach us sometime in the summer.

ATI finished their reference design of Radeon HD 2600XT AGP card and it should be a good successor to their X1950PRO. That in itself should restore the lost hope of AGP users. On Computex some partners, like Power Color, showcased HD 2600 cards which should be available in two versions, 256MB and 512MB running at 800MHz. The core should run at 600MHz and you can take a look at first snapshots of this new Power Color HD 2600PRO card, as well as Radeon HD2400PRO here.

Let us review the performance of this, currently fastest ATI AGP card – the Radeon X1950PRO.

Image

We tested Power Color’s X1950PRO card, one of the first AGP X1950PRO cards to reach the market. It’s based on ATI’s 80nm RV570 core with 12 rendering pipelines, 36 pixel shaders and 8 vertex shaders. The core runs at 575MHz, with memory speeds at 1380MHz, but we actually measured a couple of MHz less, to be exact this card runs at 573/1376MHz. Power Color opted for reference speeds, although we’ve seen some companies, such as HIS, who didn’t.

The memory is 256bit and the card has total of 256 GDDR3, but if that’s not enough you can always grab yourself a 512MB one. The memory in question is Hynix’s RoHS Compliant memory, running at 1.4ns – 700Mhz. AGP version of the card is identical to the PCIe card and that made it possible for AGP users to enjoy the same performances as PCIe users.
 

Image

 

Still, certain details, such as RIALTO chip, are exclusive to AGP version. This bridge chip is on the back of the card, and it enables the PCIe instructions transfer trough AGP bus. New DirectX 10 AGP cards will use the same bridge chip.

ImageImage

Power Color uses PCB identical to the ones we’ve seen in X1950PRO PCIe cards, and we can see that on the upper right side of the card where there are two uncut 12bit Crossfire connectors. These connectors are used to connect two PCIe graphics cards in Crossfire mode, which is sadly not possible in AGP systems due to only one AGP slot. Power connector on the card is 6pin, not the standard 4pin molex used for AGP cards. If you’re using a PSU with no 6pin power plugs, in the box you’ll find one 6pin power adapter.

You’ve noticed that Power Color doesn’t use ATI’s standard coolers. For their cards they chose an excellent cooler from Arctic Cooling, named Accelero x2.


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The cooler is made from a mixture of copper and aluminum, with heat pipe technology that efficiently cools GPU and memory. The fan is almost soundless due to good vibration absorption. We did however mind that the air is not pushed out of the case, so you’ll need some good airflow in your machine. Core temperature is much lower compared to ATI’s standard coolers. While idle, we measured 42 °C, and while gaming maximum temperature was 58 °C.

In the box, apart from the mentioned power connector, you can find a DVI to VGA adapter, component cable to hook your card to HDTV, S-Video and composite cable. CD with the drivers and user’s manual are also included, as well as a DVD with Cyberlink software (including PowerDVD and a trial version of PowerDVD Copy)


 

 

Testing Rig

 

Motherboard:
Abit AV8
VIA K8T800 Pro

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 4000+ (Supplied by AMD)

CPU-Cooler:
Stock AMD Cooler

Memory:
OCZ EB DDR PC-3700 2x1024MB Platinum XTC Dual Channel Kit (Supplied by OCZ)
CL3-3-2-8-CR1T at 2.7V

Graphics card:

Power Color Radeon X1950PRO (supplied by Power Color)
HIS Radeon X1650XT (Supplied by HIS)
HIS Radeon X1950 Pro (Supplied by HIS)

PSU:
OCZ GameXStream 700W (Supplied by OCZ)

Hard disk:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA (Supplied by Seagate)

Case Fans:
Artic Fan 9 PWM (Supplied by Artic-Cooling)
AF12025 PWM (Supplied by Artic-Cooling


 


Testing

We’ve recently tested two HIS’ AGP cards, Radeon X1950PRO IceQ Turbo and Radeon 1650XT, and we compared the results to today’s X1950PRO card. We tested it in Vista, so XP users can expect the same, if not slightly better results in their systems.

HIS X1950PRO card has 512MB of memory running at 1540MHz, and has a faster core running at 590MHz. Considering that it is quicker and has double the memory, it is likely to get better results. The price difference between these two is about €30. In Europe you can buy Power Color 1950PRO for €160 while HIS card is €190. Radeon X1650XT is much cheaper and you can find it for as low as €100.

 

3DMarks

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03

3DMark 03

Game2

Game3

Game4

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

11502

89.5

70.6

79.0

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

14778

121.9

92.1

98.3

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

13907

113.8

86.5

91.8

 

 

 

 

 

CPU Test

CPU Score 

CPU Test 1

CPU Test 2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

1074

114.9

19.9

 

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

1094

116.9

20.3

 

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

1091

116.1

20.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03

Single Texturinng

Multi Textur.

Vertex Shader

Pixel Shader 2.0

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

2022.1

4549.5

53.5

74.4

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

4200.6

6830.3

55.5

158.8

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

3431.9

6644.2

53.0

126.0


Power color scored 13907 marks which is 871 marks less than HIS X1950PRO which scored 14778 marks. We see that the difference is not that impressive, but a faster core and memory on HIS card still do the trick. HIS card is 6% faster than Power Color X1950PRO card.

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 05

3DMark 05

Game1

Game2

Game3

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

7215

32.1

21.4

35.0

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

9065

36.8

26.0

49.8

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

8654

36.4

24.9

45.8

 

 

 

 

 

CPU Test

CPU Score 

CPU Test 1

CPU Test 2

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

6477

4.0

4.7

 

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

6573

4.0

4.8

 

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

6524

4.0

4.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 05

Single Texturinng

Multi Textur.

Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

2238.7

4587.5

198.9

80.4/56.2

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

4718.1

6905.0

333.8

133.3/55.8

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

3996.8

6875.1

295.1

82.4/54.4


The gap between the two X1950PRO cards narrowed to 4.7% in 3dMark 05. Power Color scored 8654 marks, while HIS scored 9065. Radeon X1650XT didn’t score badly either, we see 7215 marks. The widest gap made by HIS X1950PRO with 512MB memory was in Vertex Simple Shader test, thanks to a double amount of faster memory than Power Color card.

 

 

Composite Figures 3Dmark 06

3DMark 06

 

 

 

HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo 600/1460 MHz

3008

 

 

 

HIS X1950PRO IceQ Turbo 590/1540 MHz

4302

 

 

 

Power Color X1950PRO 573/1376 MHz

3984

 

 

 

(Page 2 of 3)
Last modified on Saturday, 16 June 2007 23:18
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