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Sapphire's Dual-Radeon X1950, dubbed "The Godfather," running in action
Quad-Crossfire, here we come

If waiting for R600 has you down, Sapphire has an upcoming alternative.  Early this morning the company internally demonstrated its dual-GPU Radeon X1950 Pro board, dubbed The Godfather.  The dual-slot GPU uses two 6-pin power connectors but still fits within the standard 9" riser-board dimensions.

Sapphire representatives tell us the performance of the single card is comparable to two Radeon X1950s in Crossfire mode.  The card runs on a single x16 PCIe connector. Both dual-link DVI connectors can be utilized at the same time.

Previous Radeon X1950 Pro cards have a GPU core clock of around 575MHz with a memory clock of 700MHz.  The clock frequencies for The Godfather were not revealed.

Also visible on the adaptor are the two interfaces needed for AMD Crossfire.  We have confirmed that the upcoming adaptor does not need a Crossfire motherboard as well in single-card implementations.  However, memos from the company reveal that the card can be put into Crossfire mode with another identical card on a Crossfire motherboard -- the upcoming implementation would be the first capable of Quad-Crossfire.

Like other X-series Radeon cards, The Godfather is also capable of physics processing via Havok or any other middleware capable of interfacing with the Radeon FPU for physics calculations.

Expect to see demonstrations and benchmarks of the card during the upcoming CES 2007.  Sapphire claims the card will be available in Q1'07, well ahead of the March 2007 R600 launch.  Sapphire recently announced its AGP version of the Radeon X1950 Pro, but the company would not respond if The Godfather would be available in AGP versions.


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By Aikouka on 12/21/2006 8:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
First, I wanted to note that this is more than likely a dual-GPU/die solution rather than a dual-core solution.

I'm kind of curious about the power specs on this thing... I know the 1950xtx is a bit of a power-hungry monster, but this is based off of the pro (which features the 2 cross-fire connectors, which is most likely how this works).

CES 2007 just seems a bit late to be introducing such a product though. It'll either be too close to R600's release or after R600 is released and I'm not sure anyone would want The Godfather over an R600-based video card solution.

Also, about AGP solutions. I don't know how viable an AGP solution would be, because the fact is that only AGP 3.0 supports multiple AGP processors per AGP controller. I'm not sure how well a PCI-E to AGP bridge chip (sort of like nVidia used, but they used AGP to PCI-E) would work in this situation to make this a possibility. Maybe it's just time for people who expect decent graphics to finally upgrade?


By Spoelie on 12/21/2006 8:20:38 AM , Rating: 1
The godfather will not come in AGP form, they just mentioned that sapphire launched a x1950pro AGP as well.


By Aikouka on 12/21/2006 1:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sapphire recently announced its AGP version of the Radeon X1950 Pro, but the company would not respond if The Godfather would be available in AGP versions.


The second part in that sentence is what my comments on AGP were directed at :).


By sbanjac on 12/21/2006 9:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
You are corect when you say that 1950xtx is power hungry, but i belive that it doesn't mean that automatically all 1950 graphic cards are power hungry. For exmple 1950 pro is one of the more efficient ati cards on the market. it has 36 pixel procesors and 12 Rops + pipes, and it works at 580/700.
One 1950 xtx has 16 rops/pipes and 58 pixel proccesors. It runs at 650 /775-1000.
When it comes to power consumption (according to official data)
x1950XTX consumes 125 W while x1950PRO consumes 75W.
That means that this dual gpu card should have power consp. a litle above a singel XTX. If you ask me thats great.

One single 1950 Pro dual will have 24 ROPS/pipes ad 72 pixel processors. On clock-to-clock basis it will be faster than XTX 50%. However (if the clocks remain the same) XTX has 12% faster GPU clock and up to 42 % faster memory. (which is not quite correct, because radeon x1950 pro should have two memory buses, so that means twice the memory bandwith. There fore I believe that it would be safe not to consider this difference os extreame). All this puts the radeon x1950 pro dual in front of everything else in AMD's lineup. One Power color radeon 1950 pro with 512 MB of memory (core 600 ram 700) costs 195 € while one XTX with 1000 MHz memory costs 340 €. I believe that the price for the new dual gpu radeon x1950 could be around 360 €. That is not a bad offer.


By oralpain on 12/21/2006 4:29:56 PM , Rating: 1
It is clearly two separate GPUs on the same PCB.


By Aikouka on 12/22/2006 9:58:57 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I loved that clear shot of the PCB with the heatsink removed too.

Oh wait...


By surt on 12/21/2006 6:59:55 PM , Rating: 3
A 'dual core' graphics solution is very unlikely. Graphics card designs are already essentially 8 or 16 core, and to design a 'dual core' GPU rather than just a 32 pseudo-core chip would be more difficult rather than less.


By Aikouka on 12/22/2006 9:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
... what was the point of this? I said that it wouldn't be dual-core. Frankly, Sapphire is a card manufacturer, not a chip manufacturer, they wouldn't develop their own ati-based chip just to put in their own cards. However, creating a quasi-Crossfire-based single-pcb card (aka two graphical subsets existing on the same PCB connected via 1 of the 2 crossfire interfaces to eachother and each subset puts the addition crossfire interface as output (aka at the top of the card like a normal 1950 Pro)) isn't out of the question.

Also, graphics cards are not "essentially multi-core." With that logic, you could consider half of the computing components today "multi-core" just because they have more than one component capable of completing a task.


By surt on 12/26/2006 3:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
The point was that when you claimed it wasn't dual core, that was pointless. There won't be any dual core graphics designs because they are already highly parallel designs. Makeing them 'dual core' would add cost, not reduce it, so the likelyhood of any of the graphics players doing this for anything other than marketing purposes is very very low.


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