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ATI Radeon X1950XTX, X1900XT 256MB, X1950 Pro


Radeon X1950 Pro with Internal CrossFire connector
ATI's new mainstream product gets a first look

DailyTech has managed to obtain an early sample of ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950 Pro graphics card. The Radeon X1950 Pro was expected to arrive next week, however ATI has pushed the launch date back to the last week of October. Nevertheless, the Radeon X1950 Pro is based on ATI’s RV570 graphics core that is one of ATI’s first products manufactured on an 80nm fabrication process, and is completely separate in almost every way imaginable from the existing Radeon X1950 video cards released earlier this year.

ATI has equipped the Radeon X1950 Pro with 36 pixel shaders and 12 pipelines on a new core that is essentially a stripped down R580. Our early sample is clocked at 575 MHz core and 686 MHz GDDR3 memory, which is a tad shy of the previously reported 580 MHz core and 700 MHz memory of ATI reference boards. However, this is a retail vendor sample, and each vendor will clock according to its own specifications.

The Radeon X1950 Pro in our possession is a basic model with 256MB of graphics memory. It lacks HDCP support, unfortunately. Dual-DVI outputs are available, though neither output is dual-link capable. An ATI Rage Theater is integrated for VIVO capabilities similar to the higher end Radeon X1900XT/XTX and X1950XTX cards. As this is only a reference board, graphics card manufacturers are free to integrate dual-link DVI and HDCP support. The card  still requires a 6-pin PCI Express power connector.

*Update* The Radeon X1950 Pro has internal dual-link TMDS transmitters for both DVI outputs. HDCP is also supported on the reference board.

New to the Radeon X1950 Pro is the inclusion of an internal CrossFire connector. Gone is the need for a master and slave card configuration of higher end Radeon X1900XT/CrossFire and Radeon X1950XTX/CrossFire graphics cards. This time around ATI has integrated the CrossFire compositing engine into the graphics core itself. Communication between two graphics cards in CrossFire is performed via internal CrossFire connector. The internal CrossFire connector is expected to ship with the graphics card and be a ribbon type cable, similar to some SLI bridge connectors. Also new with the Radeon X1950 Pro is a new single-slot cooler. The new cooler is similar to the unit used on Radeon X1950XTX graphics cards, albeit half the width.

ATI Radeon X1000 Series

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro
Core Clock
650 MHz
625 MHz
575 MHz
Memory Clock
1000 MHz 725 MHz 686 MHz
Pixel Shaders
48 48 36
Texture Units
16 16 12

In addition to snapping a couple images of the upcoming Radeon X1950 Pro, DailyTech was able to run a few quick benchmarks. For reference purposes the Radeon X1950 Pro is compared to ATI’s current flagship Radeon X1950XTX and mid-range Powercolor Radeon X1900XT 256MB. The Radeon X1950 Pro is expected to slot right below the Radeon X1900XT 256MB where the Radeon X1900GT is currently positioned.

The test system was configured as follows:
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
  • Asus P5W DH Deluxe
  • Kingston HyperX DDR2-800
  • Silverstone ST60F

  • Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Futuremark 3DMark06
  • FarCry 1.33
  • Half Life 2:Lost Coast
  • Quake 4 1.2
  • Serious Sam II

Futuremark 3DMark06

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Synthetic performance in Futuremark’s 3DMark06 shows the Radeon X1950 Pro and X1900XT 256MB are very close; though there’s a slight favor towards the Radeon X1950 Pro.
FarCry 4xAA/16xAF Max Details - 1280x1024

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Half Life 2:Lost Coast 4xAA/16xAF 1280x1024

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Quake 4 4xAA 1280x1024

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Serious Sam II HighAA/16xAF 1280x1024

X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Overall gaming performance with the Radeon X1950 Pro and Radeon X1900XT 256MB is very close. Although the Radeon X1900XT 256MB has a slight performance advantage in most games, it’s not as big of a jump as the Radeon X1950XTX over the Radeon X1950 Pro. A couple of factors can contribute to the close performance numbers of the Radeon X1950 Pro and Radeon X1900XT 256MB. Two possible reasons include the Radeon X1900XT’s 256MB of video memory isn’t enough or the 48 pixel-shaders are excessive for the selected games. Nevertheless the Radeon X1950 Pro performance is quite promising.

Power Consumption
X1950XTX X1900XT 256MB X1950 Pro

Power consumption with the 80nm die shrink is quite impressive. Under load the Radeon X1950 Pro manages to consume a mere 225 watts—54 watts less than the Radeon X1900XT 256MB. While the Radeon X1900XT 256MB delivers more pixel shading power, the Radeon X1950 Pro offers slightly better performance-per-watt in gaming.

ATI’s upcoming Radeon X1950 Pro looks quite promising considering the lower power consumption and near Radeon X1900XT 256MB levels of performance. The use of a single-slot cooler also makes the Radeon X1950 Pro more attractive for users with limited slot expansion capabilities. There’s also the internal CrossFire connector that allows future upgrade to CrossFire slightly easier and less wasteful since it only needs another Radeon X1950 Pro instead of hunting down a Radeon X1900 CrossFire Edition.

Pricing for the upcoming Radeon X1950 Pro is unknown at the moment, unfortunately. Nevertheless with the Radeon X1900XT 256MB carrying a $279 MSRP, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Radeon X1950 Pro slotted below in the $229 or $249 price bracket.

Comments     Threshold

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new card
By pinkpanther6800 on 10/9/2006 6:11:43 AM , Rating: 0
Am I the only one that is getting tired of those dx9 cards comming out which basically is waste of money.

The dx10 card is likely less than 6 months away, cant see any reason to put money in a technology that is something of the past.

RE: new card
By theprodigalrebel on 10/9/2006 7:11:21 AM , Rating: 3
One can sell almost any product - as long as the price is right.

G80 is speculated to arrive mid-November: but we are talking $450-$650 for the 8800GTS/GTX.

I have a feeling pricing will drop to around $200 or a little higher. This card targets people looking at the 7900GS or the X1900XT 256MB. DX10 games won't be arriving any time soon. This is also a decent stopgap for those who would like to wait until the first round of DX10-refresh cards from both GPU camps.

RE: new card
By Chillin1248 on 10/9/2006 9:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
The only game coming out in the following 6 months that I find on the radar that is WGF 2.0 exclusive is Halo 2, everything else will get patches to make it compatible (or start off compatible), i.e.- Crysis, FS-x, etc.

DX10 cards right now would be a nice tech showcase but pretty much useless for DX10 games for a while (say about a year and a half minimum judging from DX8-DX9).


RE: new card
By Griswold on 10/9/2006 10:09:21 AM , Rating: 3
Where are the games that put these new dx10 cards to good use? Right, you'll be playing mostly dx9 games on it for many moons to come once you can buy the hardware.

RE: new card
By Chillin1248 on 10/9/2006 11:20:15 AM , Rating: 3
Here's a good list:


RE: new card
By lemonadesoda on 10/9/2006 12:50:11 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks for the list and screenies.

Anyone notice how POOR Halo 2 looks compared to the other titles. All other titles are Windows XP and DX9 compatible. Halo 2 is DX10 only on Vista. And it aint looking good so far...

RE: new card
By BrentJ on 10/9/2006 1:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
How could you possibly make that assertion from 2 screenshots?

RE: new card
By lemonadesoda on 10/9/2006 3:37:40 PM , Rating: 3
Which assertion are you refering to:

Halo 2 is DX10 only on Vista
it aint looking good so far...

For the first quote, then I picked up that news elsewhere on this forum. Perhaps it will not be true in the final release...

For the second quote, well, I think it's pretty easy to compare the two screenshots from Halo 2 with the screenshots from the other titles. Can't you see any difference? May be you can't. If you can't then there's no amount of explaining that's going to help here.

RE: new card
By MonkeyPaw on 10/9/2006 4:12:31 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, from the looks of it, I think the old Xbox title is giving it a run for its money. If nothing else, the lighting looks pretty generic. Those wood floors look pretty cheap. Considering how the old Xbox can play the game just fine (well, okay, glitchy), DX10 is pretty much overkill. It has to be because of the MS-Halo relationship, and Bungee is just helping Vista take off. Considering how long Halo2 has been around now (and Halo 3 in the works), I wonder how appealing it's going to be? It better have a good multiplayer environment/interface, that's for sure.

RE: new card
By S3anister on 10/9/2006 11:13:25 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps it will not be true in the final release...

the way that DX10 works is streamlined into Vista and to have dx10 for instance on XP would require the Vista driver display model. < not worth the hassle.

"Additionally, Microsoft had to rethink its display driver model now that the entire desktop is going 3D. The video card isn't just for games anymore. When you have a 3D desktop and give each application its own 3D window, the display driver has to be flexible and stable enough to handle the video card's increased role in the system. Microsoft split up the display driver to increase stability, to ensure that the 3D desktop stays up in the event that a game or another application crashes due to a graphics error. This change also means that Microsoft will not release DirectX 10 for Windows XP, because many of the Direct3D10 improvements will need the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model."

read the whole article here

RE: new card
By xsilver on 10/9/2006 8:23:57 PM , Rating: 1
how can u have screenshots of a dx10 game when dx10 itself and dx10 cards are not out yet?
isnt it all in dx9 compatability mode?
its just that microsoft are forcing the game to be vista only?

if stuff looks this good on dx9, will be hard to imagine how good it will look on dx10?

RE: new card
By Chillin1248 on 10/10/2006 6:04:04 AM , Rating: 3
Some of the screenshots are pre-rendered in what it will look like with DX10, like Flight Simulator X (FSX) on that page I listed, using Maya or 3dsmax.


RE: new card
By Chillin1248 on 10/10/2006 6:04:13 AM , Rating: 3
Some of the screenshots are pre-rendered in what it will look like with DX10, like Flight Simulator X (FSX) on that page I listed, using Maya or 3dsmax.


RE: new card
By Chillin1248 on 10/10/2006 6:06:45 AM , Rating: 3
Oops.... Double post?


RE: new card
By Korvon on 10/10/2006 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you are running Vista RC1 or later it is running DX10. Just do a dxdiag in the run command.

RE: new card
By Griswold on 10/11/2006 9:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
And what does that help if theres no dx10 hardware available yet? Dx10 in vista still only does dx9 functions on todays hardware.

RE: new card
By Ringold on 10/9/2006 11:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I'm holding out for DX10 parts not for DX10 games at all. I'll be buying Halo 2, if it looks worthy, but not worth a video card over.

Judging from a post getting slammed to -1, am I the only one thinking that, oh, I dont know, a new generation (versus a refresh of an old one) might *possibly* have some nice performance gains? :)

If nothing else, does it hurt at this point to wait about a month to find out? And really, if a few months is not an issue, would it hurt to wait for lower-priced DX10 parts on the horizon rather than sink $$ in to last-generation parts today?

OP didnt say all that of course, but thats where I'm standing anyway. Of course, if I had a computer laid out in parts on my floor right now and I needed a vid card, DX10 is off the table, and I wouldnt lose much sleep either.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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