CES 2007: Sapphire 13

CES 2007: Sapphire Review

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Sapphire's hottest new product at CES was the "Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual". The X1950 Pro has 512 MB GDDR3, 36 shaders, 8 vertex processors and 256-bit bus, clock speeds were not revealed at this time. Each of the two cores runs at those specs using ATI CrossFire. Windows will detect the card as two video cards, then you enable CrossFire like you would with any other CF setup. No special drivers or software (apart from Catalyst) is required. With ATI Physics close, it is also possible to use one core for physics and one core for graphics.

In the future Sapphire wants to combine two or three of those cards for 4-way and 6-way CrossFire setups. However, this requires quite some adjustments from ATI side in their drivers, and performance is still lacking.

The product is almost ready, some very minor adjustments need to be made. To show off their progress, Sapphire has been running a demo system with one of these cards. Even though two GPUs are in use, the cooler will only use one fan that sits in the center of the card. To accomodate the increased power requirements two PCI-E power connectors are required. When asked if it is possible to rotate the power connectors of this huge card, Sapphire replied that they would sure look into that.
From a price and performance point the card will fit into the void between X1950 XTX and GeForce 8800.

Another X1950 Pro product from Sapphire is this X1950 Pro Ultimate. It follows the X1950 Pro specs closely, comes with 256 MB of GDDR3 and uses a Zalman cooler to reduce fan noise and improve the overclocking potential.

For users who want a silent PC, in Media PCs for example, this completely passive cooled X1650 Pro has been developed. While it may not be the fastest card on the market, it sure is the quietest.
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