Nowadays high-end flagship video cards may price an arm and a leg, but that section of the market isn’t where the actual money is. The big money is made in the low-end and mid-range (or mainstream) segments of the market. It’s simple really: most folks shopping for a video card have budgeted $100-250, although comparatively fewer have $400+ budgets for just graphics.
A few months ago, ATI dropped a newly pixel-pushing soldier into the battle for mid-range supremacy. That soldier came in the form of the Radeon X1950 Pro, and it battles the good battle for about $200. Now, we will be looking at Sapphire’s version of the X1950 Pro.
Among the coolest characteristics of the X1950 Pro is its modern Native CrossFire support, which means you will not need a master CrossFire card with the X1950 Pro if you would like to run in multi-GPU mode. And no longer clunky dongle; a welcomed change indeed. Besides the Native CrossFire support, the X1950 Pro features 256MB of GDDR3 memory, 36 pixel shader processors and 8 vertex shader processors. The specs look good. Only how does it really perform? Let’s put Sapphire’s X1950 Pro through its paces and find out.
The Sapphire X1950 Pro arrives nested in typical Sapphire packaging; there’s the iconic, futuristic, sexy female robot mascot, the teaser window and all the marketing logos. Just in case you are not certain, big stickers remark that the card is HDCP and Windows Vista ready.
Inside the box, Sapphire packs a couple handfuls of add-ons: an S-video cable, a composite video cable, a PCI Express power cable, two VGA-to-DVI adapters, an HDTV-out cable, a composite-to-S-video adapter, and a CrossFire ribbon connector. Besides the accessories, Sapphire includes a multi-language user manual, an installation driver CD, CyberLink PowerDVD 6 (2-channel version), and The Da Vinci Code game. It is nice to see a game included, but we doubt many gamers will be very excited about The Da Vinci Code game in specific.
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