Radeon X1600 Pro: Prolonging the Graphics Life of Your AGP Machine

The Viper Is Back

Based on the familiar X1600 reference design, Diamond's AGP version looks nearly identical to PCI-Express cards, at least from the front. Most noticeable is the floppy-style supplemental power connector, likely needed for the PCI-Express to AGP converter. However, it is possibly also needed to supplement the graphics core, since AGP slots can't provide as much electrical current as PCI Express. The heat sink features an offset fan and covers the graphics processor plus four memory chips.

A jumper along the upper edge selects TV-output to match NTSC or PAL standards, which is a plus for anyone taking their system abroad. However, many previous products allowed this setting to be made using software.

Oh my, someone at the assembly plant got ambitious with metallic thermal paste! Several minutes of tedious cleaning revealed the RV530 Pro graphics core, which was designed to knock down the 6600GT before ATI knew how fast the 7600GT would be. The device has 12 pixel shaders and five vertex shaders that feed four pipelines.

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