Sapphire Gets Hot by Going Cool


The Toxic X1900XTX is certainly impressive; it shows that the ATI core can handle even more clock speed than the reference design. We feel that this is a product best suited to the enthusiast who needs to maintain their cool factor with their peers, or for the overclocker looking for a simplified solution. It also fits the case modder who is looking for a special piece to add to a design, or the person laying out their case who needs more room next to their expansion cards.

We feel that Sapphire should do a better job of helping their customers find answers to their problems, and direct them to that help; relying on the knowledge base at ATI - which simply redirects OEM customers back to their originating websites - is far from ideal. The two year warranty is also a little short, in our estimation. Consider for example that AGP is still a large segment of the install base, for example, and these cards are more than 3 years old. If the upgrade path is 3 years or more, then the warranty should be at least 3 years long as well.

The price of the Toxic is not that far from that of other Radeon X1900XTX models; we looked at online sources for prices and saw that they range from as little as $469 to as much as $629. For $70 more than the standard Radeon X1900XTX price, consumers can obtain a cool card that can handle higher frequencies and provide better performance. Is this a justifiable price for the performance gains? Obviously, if you want the best single card solution with guaranteed frequencies, you should expect to pay a premium. As we have seen online, this premium is still lower than what some vendors are charging, even for the standard Radeon X1900XTX.

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