A Tale of Two GTs: Radeon X1900GT by Sapphire and Powercolor

Sapphire X1900GT

slide show Sapphire

The Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT is typically priced at around $270. The card is also factory set to ATI's specification for the Radeon X1900 GT with the core running at a frequency of 575 MHz and the memory at 600 MHz (1,200 MHz DDR). The card uses the same cooler and fits into a single slot. If you look closely you can see that the Sapphire sticker covers the Ruby logo that can be found on the PowerColor card. The fan and heatsink are the same and produce the same low level noise that is not noticeable.

The Sapphire card is the same in that there are Dual Link DVI outputs. This card can thus power 30" monitors at a resolution of 2560x1600 and 400 MHz RAMDACs to run dual 2048x1526 CRT monitors. The card also comes with all of the same cables so it can be used in a home theater PC setup. There are two DVI-A conversion adapters so dual analog displays can be attached. A cable for S-video and composite video in and out as well as a male/male composite and S-video extension cables make it easy to set this up for video playback with your TV. Included is also an HDTV out cable and PowerDVD playback software. Sapphire also throws in a copy of PowerDirector so you can author your own DVDs.

The retail package includes a free game. The choice of the game depends on the owner. Sapphire has a special program called Sapphire Select. The disk contains the games Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Richard Burns Rally, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Brothers In Arms: Road To Hill 30. The owner then can test each game to see which one they like the most before purchasing it. If they like other titles as well, they can pay for them separately.

Sapphire still uses the same two-year standard warranty against defects and users are required to register their purchases on the Sapphire Website. We posted some concerns as the Website directs people to ATI.. It states: "To receive support please visit ATI customer care for extensive online support, including drivers, knowledge base and Web-Tickets and to access toll-free telephone support."

However, the ATI Website states: "OEM, partner and system builder products (e.g. DELL, Sapphire, Connect3D) are not eligible for warranty service from ATI."

Back on Sapphire's Website it states that "if you are unable to resolve your support issues by following the link above, please do not hesitate to make use of the Sapphire Online forums or create a Sapphire Support Ticket." All of that, just to click a link on its own site. The tech savvy will try to diagnose their issues using Sapphire's forums and then stick to Sapphire to fix what they cannot. For the average consumer who just wants a card that works, the maze seems a little much just to solve an issue. We understand that companies wish to minimize number of RMA claims but people need a simple solution when legitimate problems need a resolution.

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