Print 20 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Nov 21 at 8:54 PM

Cooled by Zalman

Sapphire today announced the latest addition to its Ultimate Edition product lineup—the Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro. The Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro features cooling by Zalman and higher clock rates than regular X1950 Pro cards. Keeping the X1950 Pro silent is a customized Zalman VF900-Cu with Sapphire branding and blue LED lighting. Cooling the memory and power regulators are accompanying Zalman heatsinks.

With a Zalman cooling system Sapphire is able to clock the Ultimate X1950 Pro GPU at 580 MHz instead of the ATI default at575 MHz. Joining the slight GPU clock increase is faster video memory. Instead of the regular 690 MHz memory the Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro is equipped with 800 MHz GDDR3 on a 256-bit interface. While some manufacturers have opted to equipt its X1950 Pro based cards with 512Mb of video memory, Sapphire is sticking with 256MB on its Ultimate X1950 Pro.

Additional features of the Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro include HDCP compatibility, dual dual-link DVI outputs, TV-out and a PCI Express x16 interface.

Availability of the Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro is expected next week with an M.S.R.P. of $229 USD.

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By JAH on 11/21/2006 1:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
How many slots does this thing takes up?

I've been looking for a powerful, yet quiet, graphic card with HDCP support that will fit in one slot for my HTPC for a while.

RE: Slots?
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/21/2006 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by the picture, it looks like a single-slot card, though it may be slightly tall because of the Zalman cooler.

RE: Slots?
By therealnickdanger on 11/21/2006 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 1
It will obviously be larger than a single-slot, judging by the photo. Odd that anyone would want a dual-slot-sized graphics card that doesn't at blow hot air OUT of the case... A Zalman cooler underneath with a outbound vent would have been more attractive, methinks. Not too mention the fact that the heatsink height looks like it will limit its use in smaller cases...

For only a little more, you can get other dual-slot X1950Pros that have exhaust cooling systems and no height problems.

RE: Slots?
By a123456 on 11/21/2006 2:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK, Zalman doesn't make coolers that blow heat out the back. Neither does the Arctic X2. They both work decently for well-ventilated cases. For those with bad cases, yes, the IceQ3 would make more sense if heat is a major concern even though it's a bit more expensive.

This is a decent product for those who wanted to get an X1950 Pro anyway. The VF900-Cu LED version retails for closer to $50ish, and this card represents a $30 premium for the cooler.

RE: Slots?
By therealnickdanger on 11/21/2006 3:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't suggesting that Zalman did make such a cooler, just that an adaptation of the VF900 with an external blower would be neat. I agree that priced together it is a good value over their seperate costs, for those who have well-ventilated cases already with enough vertical headroom.

Why only 5MHz on the clock?
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/21/2006 1:41:25 PM , Rating: 3
With a Zalman cooling system Sapphire is able to clock the Ultimate X1950 Pro GPU at 580 MHz instead of the ATI default at575 MHz.

A 5MHz overclock on the core isn't really all that much, and although the 110MHz bump on the memory is good, leaving the core speed that low isn't going to do great things for the overall speed and bandwidth.

RE: Why only 5MHz on the clock?
By blckgrffn on 11/21/2006 1:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think something like 625/800 with 512 of memory would have been much more deserving of the nice cooler and "ultimate" title myself.


RE: Why only 5MHz on the clock?
By DrDisconnect on 11/21/2006 2:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to agree since the PowerColor 1950 Pro based cards are clocked at 600 MHz GPU and 700 Memory respectively. Although the associated cooler seems very thick on the PowerColor it is also reportedly very quiet.

RE: Why only 5MHz on the clock?
By yacoub on 11/21/2006 8:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
ATi's 1900 series cards are second only to Hell when it comes to temperatures. It's unbelievable that it is in any way acceptable for a GPU to run above 75C and maintain any reasonable lifespan or lack of corruption (artifacting) yet these things routinely test out in the 80C+ range. Scary, if you ask me. A 5MHz overclock is probably the best they feel safe doing.

Ultimate AGP
By inthell on 11/21/2006 2:51:17 PM , Rating: 5
now that would be news!

RE: Ultimate AGP
By Pirks on 11/21/2006 8:54:11 PM , Rating: 2
just oc your non-ultimate 1950pro agp

By ksherman on 11/21/2006 1:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
i really do like Zalman Heatsinks a lot. My computer at home only has Zalman heatsinks (CPU and GPU).

That said, im a might bit confused.

The picture of the card shows 2 "SLI" bridges. I do remember hearing that ATI was going to be moving to the internal bridges, has that already happened? Why are there two connectors?

RE: Kudos
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/21/2006 1:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they've already transitioned to the new double-connector CrossFire bridge.

looks cool
By AzureKevin on 11/21/2006 2:05:10 PM , Rating: 3
The packaging box is huge!

A bit late...
By tobrien on 11/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: A bit late...
By TomZ on 11/21/2006 1:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
I like having the Zalman cooling already built-in, because it saves the hassle of my having to do it myself (I have a lot of other things on my to-do list already). I also doubt that buying a Zalman cooling kit retail would cost less than having it already built-in, but I personally don't follow video card costs closely. The $229 price point for this card seems pretty reasonable to me.

RE: A bit late...
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/21/2006 1:47:55 PM , Rating: 3
I think that a lot of these cards will actually sell. Sure, nVidia has DX10 cards out now, but the cheapest one is $600 (in Canada). For people who want a pretty good high-midrange card, the X1950 Pro beats the 7900GT in a lot of gaming applications. And no, I'm not an ATI fanboy, in fact, quite the opposite. I had an X800XL once, and hated the drivers, I'll stick to nVidia cards whenever I can.

RE: A bit late...
By Pirks on 11/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: A bit late...
By kamel5547 on 11/21/2006 2:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
... and yet demand for Nvidia's cards is less than expected. Its quite simple really, most people do not have the money to purchase a DX10 card, and won't have it when ATI relases their cards either. Since there aren't any games out for DX10 only (and probably won't be for quite a while) mist people will do just as well buying these cards as they will the midrange DX10 cards, if not better.

RE: A bit late...
By tobrien on 11/21/2006 3:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
well that's true too about the money. Granted, I only made a reference to nVidia's current DX10 cards but I was thinking more in the future for example when you see a $150-200 DX10 card, but then again that may not happen for a while but I don't know what nVidia and ATi have up their sleeves so far as budget cards are concerned.

I didn't make it clear in my post though. :/

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