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High-End 256 meg or Lower-end 512 meg ATI Graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Low-end 512MB ATI vs High-end 256MB ATI (read post before vote please)

Total: 39 votes (1 blank vote)

  • 512 MB Radeon X1950PRO
  • 6 %
  • 256 MB Radeon X1950XT
  • 95 %
February 1, 2007 8:57:13 PM

From Newegg:

SAPPHIRE 100186L Radeon X1950XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 VIVO HDCP Video Card

vs.

DIAMOND X1950PRO512PCIE Radeon X1950PRO 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO Video Card

256 MB Radeon X1950XT ($215 after rebate)

Brand - SAPPHIRE
Model -100186L
Interface - PCI Express x16
Chipset - Manufacturer ATI
GPU - Radeon X1950XT
Core clock - 625MHz
PixelPipelines - 16(48 Pixel shader processor )

Memory

Memory Clock - 1800MHz
Memory Size - 256MB
Memory Interface - 256-bit
Memory Type - GDDR3
3D API

DirectX - DirectX 9
OpenGL - OpenGL 2.0

Ports

DVI - 2
TV-Out - HDTV / S-Video Out
VIVO - Yes

General

Tuner - None
RAMDAC - 400 MHz
Max Resolution - 2560 x 1600
Cooler - With Fan
Dual-Link DVI Supported - Yes

Features

Vista Ready - Yes
HDCP Ready - Yes
Features - Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
- Avivo Video and Display Platform
- CrossFire



512 MB Radeon X1950PRO ($210 after rebate)

Model

Brand - DIAMOND
Model - X1950PRO512PCIE

Interface

Interface - PCI Express x16

Chipset

Chipset Manufacturer - ATI
GPU - Radeon X1950PRO
Core clock - 575MHz
PixelPipelines - 12(36 Pixel shader processor )

Memory

Memory Clock - 1380MHz
Memory Size - 512MB
Memory Interface - 256-bit
Memory Type - GDDR3

3D API

DirectX - DirectX 9
OpenGL - OpenGL 2.0

Ports

DVI - 2
TV-Out - HDTV / S-Video/Composite Out
VIVO - Yes

General

Tuner - None
RAMDAC - 400 MHz
Max Resolution - 2560 x 1600
Cooler - With Fan

System Requirements
Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 FX CPU's CPU running at 2.4 GHz +
450-Watt power supply or greater, 30 Amps on 12 volt rail recommended (assumes fully loaded system)
PCI Express compliant power supply required.
Super VGA or DVI-I compatible monitor
PCI Express X16 compliant slot
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
512MB system RAM minimum
480MB available hard disk space
Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
Features
Vista Ready Yes
Features High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering
AVIVO and 3D excellence
Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 & Shader Model 3.0, OpenGL 2.0



I have minimum specs for both cards (except for the power supply for the 512) but I figure that the 256 is going to need at least as much power, so I have to buy a new PS anyways. (my current PS is a 400-watt antec)

The system that this will be going in will have these specs:
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
19" Widescreen LCD Monitor(1440x900)

I have about a month before I have enough $$ saved to buy all this.

So the question remains: Low end 512 or High end 256???
February 1, 2007 9:06:31 PM

x1950xt because it has more raw horsepower. Who cares if you have 512 megs of ram if you dont have enough power to run a game at super high rez.
February 1, 2007 9:15:01 PM

Memory isn't a whole lot important.

The X1950XT is better, it's more powerful to start with. In this case, the extra memory on the X1950Pro doesn't make the card better.
Related resources
February 1, 2007 9:22:46 PM

1950XT. System ram will take up the slack.
February 1, 2007 9:58:08 PM

I was also wondering if I really need to buy a new Power Supply -- I don't want to spend the extra money, and I already have a good 400W PS. (I'm planning to do a little OC'ing)
February 1, 2007 10:07:05 PM

What's the brand?

"Good PSU" isn't enough info. Also, check the amps on the 12V rails.
February 1, 2007 10:39:43 PM

Why don't people just look at benchies? I am getting annoyed at all the people quoting specs on a card. Look at how it performs, reading some specs doesn't tell you much.
February 1, 2007 10:52:16 PM

It's an antec, and there's 15A on the 12V rails(i got it within the last 3 mos.)
February 1, 2007 11:29:14 PM

Your gonna want a new power supply. Unfortunately 15 Amps is not gonna' be enough to power that beastly system your building.

Look at the PSU 101 sticky for PSU selections.


edit: I now see that you have 30 Amps of combined 12 v power. This should be sufficient for what you are planning to build. However, when you begin to overclock, your power consumption will increase, making that 400 watt look a little small. I still suggest a new power supply while you are rebuilding the system.
February 1, 2007 11:43:06 PM

Quote:
It's an antec, and there's 15A on the 12V rails(i got it within the last 3 mos.)


is that combined or 15A on EACH of the 12V rails? And if so, how many 12V rails do you have?
February 2, 2007 12:36:09 AM

15-0 in favor of the X1950XT. Hope you got your answer. :) 
February 2, 2007 12:45:42 AM

@Featherstone: there's two 15A 12V rails

@SEALBoy: yes, I definately got my answer.

Thanks guys (and gals?)
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2007 1:02:06 AM

15 amps just is too close to call. Im using a 420 watt enermax with 18 amps on each rail,also have a 1900 512mb, and tho its fine Im not ocing ,only have 1 HD,a sound card and 1 dvd/cd burner I feel Im maxxed out right where I am. Youll need a better psu
February 2, 2007 3:28:55 AM

Quote:
15 amps just is too close to call. Im using a 420 watt enermax with 18 amps on each rail,also have a 1900 512mb, and tho its fine Im not ocing ,only have 1 HD,a sound card and 1 dvd/cd burner I feel Im maxxed out right where I am. Youll need a better psu


I have no idea which 1900 you have, but the most power hungry x1900 card (XT) only uses 109 watts. If your enermax really has a total of 36a on the 12v rails, it's unlikely that you're even close to stressing the PSU.

Doesn't look like we have an exact CPU, but as long as he avoids the P4 (and I don't know why he'd build a new system with either a p4 or an FX CPU, unless he already owns them or is getting htem really cheap used), but if the PSu is even close to honestly rated and the 30a are actually available, then he's fine.
February 2, 2007 12:38:42 PM

No votes for the 512mb slower card! The message is getting through!

I'M PROUD OF YOU BOYS!
February 2, 2007 1:26:25 PM

lol I have 1950pro 256mb version, I thinks that answer your question!

Go for xt. 512mb are only used in games like doom3 that uses uncompressed textures. For 95% of games out there 256mb flavor is your man! or woman. or..... I'll shut up now.
February 2, 2007 1:35:03 PM

Quote:
Your gonna want a new power supply. Unfortunately 15 Amps is not gonna' be enough to power that beastly system your building.

Look at the PSU 101 sticky for PSU selections.


He's right. I have an Antec P150 with built in 430W Neo HE PSU (from my old pc). When I upgraded to E6400, X1950pro, 4HDDs and started to overclock I ran into problems.

I solved them using this nice additional PSU...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
February 2, 2007 2:00:25 PM

DDR2 Vs. GDDR3
Hello? :roll:
February 2, 2007 2:27:57 PM

Quote:
DDR2 Vs. GDDR3
Hello? :roll:


Huh? Both cards use GDDR3. ATI's not foolish enough to make an X1950 card with DDR2.
February 2, 2007 3:08:25 PM

The 1900XT will handily present the 1950Pro its rear in every instance. The extra memory on the 1950Pro won't begin to make up the difference in these two cards due to pixel shader count etc.
February 2, 2007 4:13:10 PM

The XT is much better, and so it should be the clue is in the price. Having 512MB over 256MB is completely overrated. It's a way of selling more cards.

Buy the XT, and before you do anything else buy a proper PSU, with at least 40A across the 12V rails.

The Corsair 520W or 620W is ideal for you.
February 2, 2007 4:24:41 PM

The difference between 512 and 256 really only shows up at resolutions higher than 1280X1024. Below that, the difference is negligible.
!