Barrier Eliminators: X1900GT and X1950XTX from Sapphire

The Cost Of Quality

It's unfortunate that none of our downloaded HD content was able to make good use of hardware-accelerated decoding, because it seems a forgone conclusion that buyers will need something better than onboard graphics to play HD-DVD and BRD movies smoothly. At least the video quality tests proved useful, with ATI winning handily.

In games, the X1900GT proved adequate for applying high quality settings at medium to high resolutions, whereas the older 7600GT often couldn't compete. The real shocker is that this particular 7600GT model, EVGA's Superclocked Edition, is priced similarly to the X1900GT. Surely we see the value in the X1900GT, as increased capacity for high-quality visual settings adds nothing to its price.

So the X1900GT is a good value, but some people will certainly want more. Those with deep pockets will appreciate that the X1950XTX is up to twice as fast at twice the price, giving it similar "bang for the buck."

Author's Opinion

As a fan of fast-paced racing games, I don't often have the time to notice edge aliasing, though anisotropic filtering may keep the distant road surface well defined. My largest complaint has always concerned deeply textured and raised surfaces such as stone walls and railroad tracks, which always appear to be painted onto a flat surface. Even as the X1950XTX provided exceptional performance improvements at the highest quality levels, we're several generations from a graphics card that can provide the added detail I desire.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.