Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual 46

Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual Review

Test Setup »

A Closer Look

The cooler uses heat pipes to achieve optimum heat transfer. A number of thermal pads are arranged around the bottom of the cooler to cool the GPUs, memory and the PCI-Express bridge chip.

With the cooler removed you can see how the two GPUs are placed on the board, with their own 512 MB of GDDR3 memory around them. The third chip on the bottom is a PCI-Express to PCI-Express bridge which adds a second PCI-E interface to the card for the second GPU. The CrossFire communications between those two GPUs are all handled on the board, traffic never has to go over the mainboard's bus.

The PCI-Express bridge chip supports up to 32 lanes which can be configured in any fashion. It is made by PLX Technology, you can find more information about the "PEX 8532" on their website:

"The ExpressLane™ PEX 8532 device offers 32 PCI Express lanes, capable of configuring up to 8 flexible ports. The switch conforms to the PCI Express Base Specification, rev 1.0a. The 32-lane switch enables users to add scalable, high bandwidth I/Os to a wide variety of applications including servers, communications, storage, blade servers, and embedded systems. The device is hardware configurable and software programmable, allowing users to tailor their port configurations and QoS operating characteristics to suit their application requirements. The PEX 8532 is offered in a 35 x 35mm 680-ball PBGA. This device is available in leaded and lead-free packaging."

We all knew this card would need some major power, so it's no surprise to see two PCI-Express power connectors on the card. Adapter cables are included, so this should not be a problem. Please account for the extra space needed by the cables plugged into the card when considering if this card will fit your case. Are there any 90° rotated adapters?

The Rage Theater chip is a chip for multimedia encoding/decoding and TV out/in.

The board uses 16x 1.4ns GDDR3 memory chips from Samsung bringing the total memory size to 1 GB. Please note that each GPU can only access up to 512 MB of video memory.

The GPU used is the ATI RV570 Revision A12.

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