We took two high-end graphics card models from the two wranglers AMD/ATI and Nvidia: the Radeon X1900 XTX and the GeForce 8800 GTS. These aren't the very top models, but are certainly high-end products.
ATI Radeon X1900 XTX
ATI's Radeon X1900 XTX carries 384 million transistors and offers a total of 48 pixel shaders. They are organized in so-called "quads", which pool four pixel processors. The GPU runs at 675 MHz, and it accesses 512 MB of GDDR3 memory, running at 775 MHz (1.55 GHz DDR). Please have a look at our Interactive VGA Charts to get an impression of how this card compares to other ATI and Nvidia graphics cards. Note that the X1000 family is not fully DirectX 10 compliant.
We used an HIS X1900XTX IceQ3, which utilizes an optimized cooling solution. As the reference design, it is also based on a radial fan, but it incorporates a heat pipe and a more massive heat sink unit. We also found it to be somewhat quieter than ATI's reference design.