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How $200 Goes a Lot Further

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 15, 2007 10:54:17 AM

The Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate and the Nvidia 7950GT are two premium graphics cards that not only play your games well but also play nicely with your wallet.

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January 15, 2007 11:00:15 AM

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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2007 11:28:19 AM

Picked up a X1950 pro at Micocenter this weekend for $199. No rebate, no hassles, just walked, had plenty in stock, was home gaming like crazy in 30 minutes. Nice card, SLI ready, big improvement over my X850XT PE, and runs much cooler. It's a great, great card for 200 bucks you bet.
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January 15, 2007 11:36:59 AM

Too bad the x1950xt wasn't included, great bang for buck ($219) and theres barely any benchmarks for it.
January 15, 2007 11:40:18 AM

Quote:
For close to one third to one half the cost of the high-end cards, the Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate has the performance to satisfy the majority of gamers. We put this card up against the top performers as well as its peer, the GeForce 1950GT. As you will see from the results, both mid-range budget cards demonstrate that there is a sweet spot just under the leaders in terms of price per performance.


i wasn't aware there was a geforce 1950... 7950 obviously... do these guys have editors?

Ara
January 15, 2007 1:09:31 PM

Quote:
Picked up a X1950 pro at Micocenter this weekend for $199. No rebate, no hassles, just walked, had plenty in stock, was home gaming like crazy in 30 minutes. Nice card, SLI ready, big improvement over my X850XT PE, and runs much cooler. It's a great, great card for 200 bucks you bet.


don't make posts like this, you tempt me. :) 

bravo on the price/fps segment, that's what ALWAYS matters to me, I love seeing that in an article! Video cards always hit me hard in the wallet, so it's nice to know what I can buy to give me good value when I waste my money. :) 
January 15, 2007 2:32:16 PM

I wish they used this factory overclocked Geforce 7950 GT. I have one that's clocked at 600 (as opposed to 550) and at 1.51 Ghz memory (as opposed to 1.40). It would be great if I had a X6800 too hehe.
January 15, 2007 3:14:09 PM

Around here i pay 260$ for a 7950 GT but only about 200 for a 1950 Pro. It´s not in the US, but still its rather weird to look at such a price difference between two products that should compete in price/performance. 8O

edit: Okay, for the 1950 Pro in the review i probably have to pay way more than 250$... :x
January 15, 2007 3:18:08 PM

One small problem with this review, the catalyst drivers still don't fully support this card (even the 7.1) and if the author would of checked in overdrive or with AtiTool, he would of noticed the drivers brought the clocks back down to stock, so memory is at 1400 mhz instead of 1600 mhz. This is what happens to me and everyone I know who has this card. The cd comes with the 6.9 drivers and they're modified so your memory clocks stay at 1600 mhz. So the performance should be higher (slighlty) then what is reported here.
Unless of course the version the author had came with a cd of the 6.12 drivers with sapphire modification. If that is the case, then everything I have just written is to be forgotten. I will try to email the author and ask him, I will write back here if I get an answer, for those interested.
January 15, 2007 3:42:52 PM

A good read.

I'm a bit disappointed that Sapphire put together such an outstanding package (aftermarket cooling, new game etc) for their PCI-E card when the much higher priced AGP card come with the card, driver disk and reference cooler and thats it.

I still think it was worth it just to get more life out of an otherwise decent system but can't help but feel at least slightly cheated.
January 15, 2007 3:56:11 PM

Quote:
A good read.

I'm a bit disappointed that Sapphire put together such an outstanding package (aftermarket cooling, new game etc) for their PCI-E card when the much higher priced AGP card come with the card, driver disk and reference cooler and thats it.

I still think it was worth it just to get more life out of an otherwise decent system but can't help but feel at least slightly cheated.


Sapphire sells the same "stock" card as yours on pci-e too. The "ultimate" is more expensive.
January 15, 2007 5:27:40 PM

Quote:
Picked up a X1950 pro at Micocenter this weekend for $199. No rebate, no hassles, just walked, had plenty in stock, was home gaming like crazy in 30 minutes. Nice card, SLI ready, big improvement over my X850XT PE, and runs much cooler. It's a great, great card for 200 bucks you bet.


It's good to see ATI supporting the competition. That's what I call a good neighbor. :wink:
January 15, 2007 9:19:41 PM

I wish they would have benchmarked these using a more realistic test system. People who are going to buy these cards are generally using something more along the lines of an E6400 or E6600, not an X6800...
January 15, 2007 9:47:25 PM

I agree but think they want to run it on the best so there is no bottleneck and it shows you how it performs at the highest level. Also if they had to test it on other platforms people would be fussing that they needed to do it for every possible combination which is not feasable.

If you look at some of the CPU and GPU charts on Tom's you should be able to get an idea of how your system will do.

Some times I think we focus too much on benchmarks.
January 15, 2007 10:32:36 PM

I picked up a 7950gt ko a couple weeks ago. I also got a socket 939 x2 4600. It was a relatively cheap upgrade for both and should extend the life of my 939 system nicely. For the price, 7950 is a good deal and will tide me over until I go the 8800 route.
January 15, 2007 10:33:48 PM

Also, I play bf2142 on high settings and get around 50-60 fps.
a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2007 12:26:39 AM

Quote:
Picked up a X1950 pro at Micocenter this weekend for $199. No rebate, no hassles, just walked, had plenty in stock, was home gaming like crazy in 30 minutes. Nice card, SLI ready, big improvement over my X850XT PE, and runs much cooler. It's a great, great card for 200 bucks you bet.


It's good to see ATI supporting the competition. That's what I call a good neighbor. :wink:

Uh duh, Crossfire ready, sorry!
January 16, 2007 1:58:46 AM

Quote:
I'm a bit disappointed that Sapphire put together such an outstanding package (aftermarket cooling, new game etc) for their PCI-E card when the much higher priced AGP card come with the card, driver disk and reference cooler and thats it.

http://www.hisdigital.com/html/product_ov.php?id=278&vi... -AGP
http://www.hisdigital.com/html/product_ov.php?id=263&vi...
http://www.hisdigital.com/html/product_ov.php?id=277&vi...

I like the HIS Turbo version, they are releasing it for both AGP & PCI-E in 256 or 512MB versions.
Available date: 12 Jan, 2007 (256MB), End of Jan (512MB)
January 16, 2007 2:48:33 PM

I have my powercooler X1950PRO oc'd to 621core/793memory and it stays overclocked in the latest ATI catalyst control center. ATITool reports the same thing.

My X1950PRO is a lot more overclocked then this and my temps and stability are fine, you could probably push this card further.
January 16, 2007 5:56:17 PM

Running at 1600mhz, it is quite fast for the price.

But the real deal here is that you don't have to pay $30 and then install the Zalman fan to get rid of the vacuum-cleaner whine you get with all of the other options.

Ie - the card is virtually *silent* - and that's a huge plus IMO. Cheap, quiet as a GeForce 4, and runs games very well.

Note - they should review this in a quiet system build. Use the quietest fans you can find(Silenx and Zalman seem to be the top two here) and a good quiet power supply - and see how quiet they can make a top-end system without water cooling or silly money. I got my client's down to around 30db and it's great.

Btw, the thing does 100+FPS all the time in Just Cause if you have a dual-core processor. I put this in a client's system and he's amazed. The system is silly quiet as well - maybe 30db total with careful selection of the other fans.(his CPU is effectively passively cooled since the fan in the big barrel-shaped Zalman coler spins at a few hundred rpms under load, and not at all when he's on the web/etc. The 120mm exhuast fan pull enough air over the cooler to not even make the can need to go on. :) 

At or near $200, crossfire ready, and quiet as a mouse... Of course it's a good card :) 

And, yes, you can push it quite a bit further.

What I want
- see this in a quiet system build
- see this in crossfire. $400 and I bet it will easily equal a single top-end card and then some - with less noise.
January 16, 2007 6:28:08 PM

First to Honkeytonkman, thanks for the info, didn't realize the ultimate was a different SKU on the PCI-E side. I should have known though. :oops: 

I know in the end the AGP is higher but still for $250 at least powerdvd or gameshadow would have been a nice little inclusion hehe.


To Datman, thanks for the heads up on those cards. I just recieved my Sapphire 512mb in the mail the other day though. It might not be too late to return it but that HIS Turbo will likely be more expensive with that large cooler won't it?

It does come with some software however which helps soften the blow to the wallet.

End of January eh? Hmm not sure if I want to RMA then wait and possibly pay more in two weeks time. Tough choice. :?
January 16, 2007 7:31:58 PM

I've never sent feedback on an article, but for this one I couldn't resist.

First of all, the article is stated, "How $200 goes a lot further" yet neither of the cards listed are $200 or less. The 1950 Pro in the article is stated to be $210 (starting at) yet finding a 1950 Pro Ultimate for even less than $250 is a task worthy of the best private detectives.

Now the 7950GT is also a card you'd have to bust up to $260+ to find. Yet this article is titled.... How $200 goes a lot further?

Where the hell is the line drawn? I feel bad for any people that come to the site looking for good solid advice, with only $200 in their pocket that are basically left at square one, and they don't even get refunded the 15 minutes they spend looking at the article.

"Hey, well yeah those cards are nice but uh... When are you gonna show us the actual $200 cards you talked about in the article title?"

I'll give you guys actual prices on these cards.

X1950 Pro Ultimate - $268.93 before taxes

7950GT - $266.21 before taxes

And I personally haven't heard of anyone that prefers to use a Gigabyte card over other brands like EVGA, Leadtek or BFG.

Also, it's important to note that while the 7950GT presented a lot of results, I have yet to find another place selling the X1950 Pro Ultimate that has it in stock. It's simply a ridiculous card to try to find.

I should request the author to change the title of the article to "How $266 + $10 shipping + $10 taxes goes a long way".

EDIT : I found another 1950 Pro Ultimate, here, but it sure as hell isn't $200 or even $210 like the article says.
January 16, 2007 8:29:51 PM

NewEgg was selling them for $199 up until a week or so ago.
January 17, 2007 10:16:53 AM

the price went UP? that's retarded. they just can't deal with giving us a good value.
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