ATI Radeon X1650 XT & X1950 Pro Single & Crossfire
Helloooow everyone! So a couple of weeks ago I ended our first X1950 Pro article in which I stated we'd soon show some Crossfire results for that type of card. Today I have an X1650 XT for you guys and since we will look at that card as well in Crossfire I figured it would be a good moment to do a little combo article on both.
Primarily this is a Radeon X1650 XT Crossfire article, yet with included X1950 Pro Crossfire results as well. Ever since NVIDIA released the GeForce 7600 GS/GT cards earlier this year ATI has had a very rough time delivering a product that offers the same performance. They constantly were close but not close enough. ATI worked hard to finish up its new 80 nanometer products and despite a delay of all the 80 nanometer chips, it is finally ready in good quantities. The Radeon X1950 Pro for example is such a product.
However, and you might have missed it, ATI is adding another member to the Radeon X1K family of products, the Radeon X1650 XT. While its name suggests the X1650 XT is nothing more than a higher clocked variation on the scarcely 2-month old Radeon X1650 Pro, and while you might think that, there's a big distinctive difference between the Pro and XT models. The Radeon X1650 XT is based on a much better graphics architecture. I mean this seriously... forget about going Pro and go XT man !
On the next page where we'll start off with a little technical information on the new mid-range placed Radeon X1650 XT and in the higher segment of mid-range, the Radeon X1950 Pro. We will discuss it's pricing, we'll trip the cards down followed by a little exotic photo shoot, after which we'll startup a large benchmark session to see how well it behaved performance wise in both Single card and Crossfire modes.
What is Crossfire you might ask ? Well 80% of you know it already but it can't hurt to explain stuff like this every once in a while I'm sure. Crossfire is doubling up your graphics cards and effectively double up your graphics rendering power.
You take two graphics cards that you connect to each other and double up that horsepower in your PC. The idea is not new at all though. If you are familiar with the hardware developments over the past couple of years you'll remember that 3dfx had a very familiar concept with the Voodoo 2 graphics cards series. There are multiple ways to manage two cards rendering one frame, think of Supertiling, it's most simple form. Each card will render a frame (even/uneven) or simply the upper or the lower part of the frame. Now that sounds easier than it is though, because you need to have everything right in your PC.
There are some disadvantages. The biggest one being your wallet. You need a Crossfire compatible mainboard (and no nForce boards will not work), you need a serious processor to be able to handle two graphics cards, you need a power supply that can handle all these components. You obviously also need to invest in two graphics cards. So all in all that is a rather expensive crusade. It, however, is an extremely fun crusade though.
cross·fire ( P ) Pronunciation Key (krôsfr, krs-)
- Lines of fire from two or more positions crossing each other at a single point: soldiers caught in crossfire.
- A confrontational situation in which opposing factions, forces, views, or opinions converge: caught in the crossfire in a battle over Internet site names (Denise Caruso).
- Rapid, heated discussion.
ATI (AMD - what should I write these days?) supplied us with the four cards for this test. Let's break them down. Next page please.