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How $200 Goes a Lot Further

A Closer Look

The card is void of the standard cooling solution ATI designed for the Radeon X1950 Pro. In place of the long copper heatsink and radial fan unit, Sapphire uses the Zalman VF-900 heatsink and fan to cool the graphics processor and Zalman's ZM-RHS1 heatsinks to cool the memory. While the larger cooling solution takes up an addition slot (two in total), the axial fan is quiet and cools to the touch even under the highest operating loads. The air is blown over the main cooler fins and then passes down over the RAM heatsinks below.

Sapphire bundles a copy of CyberLink's PowerDVD 6 for video playback, a driver CD, as well as a full version of Just Cause, which is a third-person shooter game that PC Gamer gave a 93% must buy rating in its December 2006 issue. So many cards are bundled with older titles and it is refreshing to see something recent with a new card.

As with most other cards, there is a vast assortment of cables and adapters. For those with older power supplies, Sapphire supplies a four-pin to six-pin adapter so users can properly power the card. Since this is a dual DVI-out card, there are two DVI-to-VGA adapters so a user can drive two digital or analog monitors. ATI changed its approach to CrossFire with Radeon X1950 Pro. A set of bridges replaces the dongle. While you need to attach both bridges for CrossFire, the card comes with a single bridge. If you decide to upgrade to CrossFire, you will have the second bridge when you purchase the second card.

For multimedia playback, a set of cables is provided for versatility. There is an S-Video cable, S-Video-to-composite adapter as well as a composite cable to hook up the graphics card to any older television or VCR. For modern television and video systems, there is a high definition (Y, Pb and Pr) cable.