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Benchmarks provided to vendors for the Radeon X1950XTX CrossFire versus GeForce 7950GX2 Quad SLI - Click to enlarge
Radeon X1950 CrossFire puts Quad SLI in its place

DailyTech has received early benchmarks of ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire graphics cards. ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire is expected to make its debut on August 23rd. Specifications for the Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire are finalized with a 650 MHz core clock and 2 GHz effective memory clock. The core clock is unchanged from the previous Radeon X1900XTX while memory clock receives a hefty 450 MHz boost. This time around the Radeon X1950XTX and X1950 CrossFire are equipped with 90nm Samsung GDDR4 memory.

The benchmarks compare ATI’s Radeon X1950XT in CrossFire against NVIDIA’s Quad SLI. The test setup used for NVIDIA’s Quad SLI is a Dell XPS 700 system equipped with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 1GB of DDR2-800 memory and two GeForce 7950GX2 graphics cards for four total GPUs. The ATI CrossFire test system is identical with the Quad SLI system except the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition motherboard was swapped out for an early Radeon Xpress 3200 (RD600) motherboard and two ATI Radeon X1950XTX/CrossFire graphics cards.

These early benchmarks are favorable to ATI. Call of Duty 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Serious Sam II heavily favor ATI, most likely due to better multi-GPU scaling on ATI’s side. FarCry, Quake 4 and Doom 3 performance shows the Quad SLI system creeping up to the performance of ATI’s X1950XTX/CrossFire system. However, the Quad SLI system still falls behind, close but no cigar. F.E.A.R. is the only game that can take advantage of Quad SLI and shows the Quad SLI system beating out the similarly configured X1950XTX/CrossFire system; though at 2560x1600 with 4xAA and 8xAF the X1950XTX/CrossFire takes the lead once again. With Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion the X1950XTX/CrossFire system manages to take a nice lead over Quad SLI at 1600x1200 with 8xAF. The lead narrows when the resolution is raised to 2560x1600 with 8xAF.

While these early benchmarks show ATI’s X1950XTX/CrossFire beating out NVIDIA’s Quad SLI there’s more to the story. Since the benchmarks are only comparing performance with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering at most, it doesn’t show the true performance of NVIDIA’s Quad SLI. The true performance of Quad SLI being its capability to render high levels of anti-aliasing without taking a heavy performance hit. Ryan Shrout at PC Perspective has written an excellent article covering early Quad SLI performance.

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How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By RussianSensation on 8/9/2006 12:46:58 PM , Rating: 3
1. X1900XT/X should fall in price as X1950XT/X is introduced. That would make those cards a far better value, while not losing much in performance (15-20% at best?)

2. With G80 and R600 soon to be released, it is probably not a good "investment" (videocards never are) to buy $399 (assumed) X1950XTX card to begin with, even with 2ghz memory speed.

This poses the question, how important is X1950XTX (unless of course ATI will be late again with R600 just like it was late with X1800 series)?

Imo, it would be illogical to get a non-DX10, non-HDMI compliant 15-month old architecture (essentially a souped up X1800XT card that should have come out June, 2005) for the price of a next-gen card.

RE: How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By atwood7fan on 8/9/2006 12:51:51 PM , Rating: 5
well if you want the best that there is now, the x1950 looks good. You can always play the waiting game that there will be something better and newer BUT realize that between the time that this card is introduced, DX10 is officially released AND there are at least a few good games that support DX10, it would be time to upgrade again anyway.

RE: How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By fierydemise on 8/9/2006 12:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, thats what alot of people seem to miss, DX10 only games won't be out for a while (3 years following Dx9 adoption). The first gen DX10 cards are probably going to be like the 9xxx series in today too slow to deal with full dx9 games (oblivion). A feature is nothing without support and if all Dx10 gives me is a few extra visuals in Crysis at the expense of massive power consumption count me out.

RE: How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By kilkennycat on 8/9/2006 5:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
Er, Crysis MAY have some added visual bells 'n whistles for DX10 users, or may have them added as a later patch, just as Far Cry added SM3.0 (and 64-bit) support, but the game will be entirely compatible with DX9c/SM3.0 and other lesser DX/SM incarnations. After all, when Crysis comes out, Vista is still unlikely to be available for non-business customers. And which non-business customers are going to rush out to buy Vista, unless it already comes (sorta) free, pre-loaded on a new computer? Everyone who has been tracking Vista's progress is expecting a few months of heavy duty bugs and mediocre gaming performance after initial release. Anyway, EA is sure not going to wait on M$$/Vista to launch a probably blockbuster game; the EA stockholders would not tolerate it, considering EA's current sales slump.

RE: How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By fierydemise on 8/9/2006 12:53:15 PM , Rating: 1
The X1950XTX is ATI's stopgap for G80 which is due out september (according to rumors) while R600 is not due out till december. ATI needs something fast to compete with G80 for a couple months until R600 is out.

RE: How much interest will X1950XTX generate?
By Tsuwamono on 8/9/2006 4:43:46 PM , Rating: 1
The x1950 isnt going to be able to compete with the G80 IMO. From the leaked specs of the g80 and the R600.. i doubt it will be much of a problem for the G80 to beat the X1950. Or for the R600 to beat the G80

By Soccerman06 on 8/10/2006 3:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
What leaked specs? Its all speculation from the Inq, and we all know how accurate the Inq.

By tuteja1986 on 8/9/2006 9:59:20 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know why people are saying G80 are coming out in September since all i have been hearing is that Nvidia wants to launch it in late Q4 2006 since they have no pressure and want to milk all they can with G7X architecture.

Also Nvidia has been working really hard to fix its Quad SLI driver which still sucks and don't really give crap all peformance increase unless you play fear which is boring game anyways. To the editor of the article , nice job linking to Quad SLI review to not the 1st page put to FEAR which happens to be best bechmark where Quad SLI really works.

By ElFenix on 8/16/2006 12:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
it's not very important, other than keeping up with G80. probably didn't cost ati very much, either. board probably didn't need redesigned, the memory controller already supported GDDR4, and they needed a new fan anyway (for R600). and now they have a part that they can continue to sell for a premium, and possibly keep a good part of the mindshare by having something that competes with the 7950 and potentially the G80.

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