R580: ATI Radeon X1950 XTX Review

Discussion in 'Beyond3D Articles' started by Rys, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    <a href="http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/x1950xtx/"><img border="1" src="http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/x1950xtx/focus.png" align="right" width="120" height="75"></a> As 2006 draws to a close and Microsoft Windows Vista approaches, bringing as it will a new Direct3D specification and a fresh generation of accelerators, it's time for the main IHVs' last gasps at high-end D3D9-only hardware. NVIDIA dropped GeForce 7900 GTX on the world in March '06, following it up recently with GeForce 7950 GX2 not so long back, creating the world's first D3D9 accelerator to feature 2 GPUs on board sitting in a single slot.

    That blatantly high-end piece of graphics hardware means that ATI are somewhat obliged to introduce something new into the same upper echelons of consumer 3D hardware, simply to keep up with the 3D Joneses. ATI Radeon X1900 XTX and R580-based friends said hello in late January, giving ATI the single-board, single-chip performance crown that they've arguably held ever since, and it's that SKU that was always set to provide the basis for any new attempt at pushing those boundaries even futher.

    And so it's R580 they're wheeling out again today, but this time with performance tweaks, new cooling and never-before-seen new memories, all in order to move the game on and give the high-end enthusiast a graphics accelerator worthy of playing the latest games at high resolution, with eye candy aplenty, and with performance to match.

    <a href="http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/x1950xtx/">Click here to read the full review.</a>
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Thanks. A good read.
    My bold. A hint of things to come?
     
  3. dizietsma

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    "While outside of the Beyond3D remit at this point in time in terms of cross-IHV performance comparison"

    This point in time should rapidly become a thing from the past pronto. Out with the old and in with the new. The Beyond3d review once again was the best by a country mile on the GDDR4 aspect of the card ( the important thing) but I still had to read other web sites to see the bigger picture and how this fitted in. To me Beyond3D should provide everything.

    Of course the old timers will whinge and complain but we all know people like to moan and people do not like change. Shooting 1 in 10 of them should shut them up however :D

    Nicely written piece Rys but it's now time to put your stamp of authority on things.
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    I have always heard that the real reason for not doing competitive reviews at B3D was a lack of time. That if forced on the "something has to give" front, that B3D would much rather toss the competitive aspect than the "what the bloody's going on under the hood?" aspect.

    I'd have to dig for the thread, but I also seem to recall there was a feedback thread started by Wavey last year that both suggested the site was open to going that way if the time issue could be resolved, and that the general feedback from the membership was pretty much the same --"Sure, mo' better --just don't skimp on the traditional virtues of a B3D review in the process."
     
  5. SirPauly

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    Enjoyed the read.

    I've always enjoyed this review format more than others; as it concentrates more-so on the actual product reviewed. Granted, an objective comparison article would be nice as well against the competition at times, too. Can't see why you can't have both!:)
     
  6. Slyne

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    On the other hand, if the review format had changed, I bet numerous cries of betrayal would have been heard.

    Anyway, not so much has changed between the 1900XTX and the 1950XTX. All that has was covered here.
     
  7. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Time was an issue, but analysis of the product was more important than a competetive analysis. Going back and doing a competetive analysis after the initial reviews would have been more on the cards.
     
  8. hesido

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    Nice read.

    One little note from an accessibility point of view is that, I don't favor the color scheme of the dual comparison color bars seen on:
    http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/ati/x1950xtx/index.php?p=11
    Orange vs. , erm, orangy red. Tho one can easily distinguish which is which from context, it would still be better if two more distinct colors were used :)
     
  9. fellix

    fellix Hey, You!
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    Very good job of ATi's to do so balanced implementation of latency-unwise GDDR-4 signaling, effectively eliminating the negatives and what remains is just the higher bandwidth to deal and use for more performance gain, where it's needed.

    I hope we'll see some of this top-of-the-line memory management tech in the future DDR2/3 compatible AMD processors. ;)
     
    #9 fellix, Aug 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2006
  10. Basic

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    The "Power and Heat" section in the beginning was a bit odd. First you meassure that it draws a few watts less than X1900. Then you say that it seem to produce slightly less heat, and points to "possible layout and small-scale transitor-level differences" as the reason. As if those two were different things.
    It's easy, less power in => less heat out. The amount of power that leave the card in any other way than heat is insignificant.


    And why the weird way of measuring noise?

    The sound level inside the case is pretty irrelevant, and not representative for the sound level where the user is. One card being louder inside the case doesn't even have to mean that it's louder outside.
     
  11. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    Not necessarily true, thanks to the different cooler. You can't just say that the lower power consumption is the cause of the lower temps (I'm actually left wondering if the cooler on the X1900 is slightly more effective than the X1950, just that the X1950 doesn't really need that level of cooling).
     
  12. Tahir2

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    I was expecting another 20 pages...
    Slackers! ;)
    Nice review, and agree that the graph colours were not easy on the eye (orangey red vs red = me going blind).
     
  13. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    Nice review, Rys. It'd be a smidge nicer if you'd add a link to this comments thread at the end, rather than leave us to our own devices. :wink:

    I'm a little confused about the noise level readings. Is idle measured from within the case with the side on, and load with the side off? Maybe measuring about a foot away from the side with the case side off in both instances would be better in that it'd remove the case dampening/resonance variables.
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    D'oh! It was there at one point, I swear! I suspect a wee update to text at the end with unintended consequences is to blame.
     
  15. roadie

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    Where has this review gone? I can't find it on the main site and the link in the first post doesn't work!
     
  16. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    link Close enough? It's not like there was any major change from X1900 -> X1950.
     
  17. I.S.T.

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    This article is still missing after close to two years.

    What happened to it?
     
  18. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Time for a conspiracy theory methinks!!!
     
  19. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    Looks like it never got ported. If I'm honest, I had no idea that it was still missing. I'll get it back into the system at some point soon, sorry about that.
     
  20. green.pixel

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    Some other links are broken too. It would be nice if they could be fixed, not necessarily fast/soon.
     
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