PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme with Arctic Cooling System Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 14, 2007


Introduction

Radeon X1950 Pro is targeted to gamers that want a high-end video card but don’t want to give an arm to buy the most expensive one – which, in the case of ATI, is Radeon X1950 XTX. What is really sweet about this model from PowerColor is that it comes with Arctic Cooling’s Accelero X2 VGA cooler already assembled on the card, which is a very high-end and silent cooling solution. Let’s compare the performance of this video card with its main competitors.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 1: PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro.

Radeon X1950 Pro runs officially at 575 MHz with its memory being accessed at 1.38 GHz (690 MHz x 2) and has 36 pixel shader engines. Radeon X1950 Pro looks like a Radeon X1900 GT with a higher memory clock rate, as Radeon X1900 GT runs at the same clock rate and has the same number of pixel shader engines, but accesses memory at a lower rate, 1.2 GHz (600 MHz x 2). On the other hand, all other cards on the Radeon X1900 and X1950 families have higher specs, especially because they all have 48 pixel shader engines.

For a full comparison between Radeon X1950 Pro and other chips from ATI, please read our tutorial ATI Chips Comparison Table. On NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table you can compare them to competitors from NVIDIA.

We measured the clock rates used by the reviewed card using PowerStrip and we found out that this card was running at 594 MHz and accessing its memory at 695 MHz x 2 (1.39 GHz). We tried to reduce these clock rates down to the official specs but the card freezed, which is rather strange. So we kept it running with these clock rates on our benchmarking.

On Figures 2 and 3 you can see the reviewed card from PowerColor. As you can see, Radeon X1950 Pro supports the new Native CrossFire system (notice the two edge connectors on the top left corner of the board).

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 2: PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 3: PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro, back view.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme

In Figure 4, you can see the Accelero X2 from Arctic Cooling removed from the video card. This cooler has a base made of copper and has three copper heat-pipes. We have already posted an article about this device, so we won’t be repeating here everything we have already said there. It is really interesting to note that PowerColor is the third ATI partner to use a cooler from Arctic Cooling (HIS and Sapphire being the other two), however PowerColor chose the most high-end cooler provided by Arctic Cooling.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 4: Arctic Cooling Accelero X2.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 5: Video card without its cooler.

This video card uses eight GDDR3 256-Mbit 1.4 ns chips from Samsung (K4J55323QG-BC14) as you can see in Figure 6, making the 256 MB of memory this video card has. These chips can run up to 1.4 GHz (700 MHz x 2). Since on this video card the memories were already running at 1.39 GHz, there is no room left for overclocking the memories inside their specs. Of course you can try pushing them above their specs, especially because this video card uses a very good cooling solution.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 6: Samsung GDDR3 256-Mbit 1.4 ns chip.

In Figure 7, you can see the Radeon 7950 Pro chip (codenamed RV570).

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
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Figure 7: Radeon 7950 Pro chip (RV570).

The model we reviewed featured video capture (VIVO) function (controlled by ATI Rage Theater chip), so it came with all the necessary cables and software, including a DVI-to-VGA adapter, a power adapter to be used if your power supply doesn’t have an auxiliary PCI Express power connector, a component video output adapter, a VIVO adapter, a S-Video cable and a composite video cable.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Cables and adapters that comes with this video card.

Main Specifications

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only different device was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark03

3DMark03 simulates DirectX 8 and 9 games. Even though this program may be considered “old”, we ran it to see how the tested video cards perform on older games. Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600x1200, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536. At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 4x and anisotropic filtering set at 16x (this scenario we called “high”). The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 - 1600x1200 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 22565 100.70%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 15392 36.90%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 14387 27.96%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 12020 6.91%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 11744 4.46%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 11243  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 10278 9.39%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 - 1920x1440 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 18351 110.18%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 12081 38.37%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 11287 29.27%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 9437 8.09%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 9245 5.89%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 8731  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 8018 8.89%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 - 2048x1536 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 16953 121.43%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 11327 47.95%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 10348 35.16%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 8386 9.54%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 7656  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 7272 5.28%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 7066 8.35%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 - 1600x1200 AAx4, AFx16 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 13181 111.37%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 8637 38.50%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 7903 26.73%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 6634 6.38%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 6422 2.98%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 6236  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 5553 12.30%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 – 1920x1440 AAx4, AFx16 Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 10231 114.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6535 37.15%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 6037 26.69%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4765  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 4637 2.76%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 4467 6.67%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3850 23.77%

3DMark03 Professional Edition 3.6.0 - 2048x1536 AAx4, AFx16 Score

Difference

GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 9235 125.74%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 5494 34.29%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 5409 32.22%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 4187 2.35%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4091  
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 4030 1.51%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3470 17.90%

3DMark06

3DMark06 simulates DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) games and it also puts HDR (High Dynamic Range) into the equation to calculate its final score. So it simulates the most high-end games available today. Since we were comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600x1200, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536. The results you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 - 1600x1200 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 7504 66.61%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 7208 60.04%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 4679 3.89%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 4504  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 3937 14.40%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 3861 16.65%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 3311 36.03%

 

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 - 1920x1440 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6414 71.31%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 6074 62.23%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 3876 3.53%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 3744  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 3187 17.48%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 3117 20.12%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 2657 40.91%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

3DMark06 Professional Edition 1.10 - 2048x1536 Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 6035 76.10%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 5686 65.92%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 3603 5.14%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 3427  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 2949 16.21%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 2882 18.91%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 2450 39.88%

Quake 4

Quake 4 uses the same game engine as Doom 3 and, since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose two resolutions, 1600x1200 and 2048x1536, first with image quality set at “low” and then with image quality set at “high”. We upgraded this game to version 1.3 and run the id_demo001 net demo that comes with this version. Click here for more details on how to use Quake 4 to benchmark a system. The results you check below and are given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System 

Quake 4 1.3 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 123.46 81.53%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 116.70 71.59%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 99.87 46.85%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 84.35 24.03%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 83.15 22.26%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 73.48 8.04%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 68.01  

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Quake 4 1.3 - 2048x1536 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 106.07 157.83%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 99.90 142.83%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 70.20 70.64%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 58.32 41.76%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 57.29 39.26%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 50.27 22.19%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 41.14  

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Quake 4 1.3 - 1600x1200 – High Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 119.54 88.64%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 113.26 78.73%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 96.33 52.01%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 81.33 28.34%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 80.17 26.51%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 70.91 11.90%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 63.37  

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Quake 4 1.3 - 2048x1536 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 102.71 159.57%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 96.08 142.81%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 67.80 71.34%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 56.44 42.63%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 55.44 40.11%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 48.51 22.59%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 39.57  

F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. is a heavy game and we used its internal benchmarking module. We upgraded it to version 1.08 and since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this program in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600x1200, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536. We set “computer settings” to “maximum” and then ran each resolution in two scenarios, first with “graphics card” set at “low” and then with this item set at “maximum”. Let’s take a look at the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1600x1200 - Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 284 48.69%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 237 24.08%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 191  
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 168 13.69%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 140 36.43%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 135 41.48%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 109 75.23%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1920x1440 - Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 215 54.68%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 175 25.90%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 139  
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 124 12.10%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 102 36.27%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 98 41.84%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 80 73.75%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 2048x1536 - Low Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 192 57.38%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 158 29.51%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 122  
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 111 9.91%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 91 34.07%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 87 40.23%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 70 74.29%

 

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1600x1200 - Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 65 75.68%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 45 21.62%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 42 13.51%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 37  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 36 2.78%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 34 8.82%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 30 23.33%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 1920x1440 - Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 48 71.43%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 31 10.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 31 10.71%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 28  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 25 12.00%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 24 16.67%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 21 33.33%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

F.E.A.R. 1.08 - 2048x1536 - Maximum Quality Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 42 90.91%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 28 27.27%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 27 22.73%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 23 4.55%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 22  
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 22 0.00%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 17 29.41%

Far Cry

Far Cry is a heavy game based on the Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model. We’ve updated the game to version 1.4. To measure the performance we run four times the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH) and the results presented below are an arithmetic average of the collected data. We used the HardwareOC Far Cry Benchmark 1.7 utility to help us collecting data.

Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this game in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600x1200, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536. At each resolution we simulated two scenarios, first with no image quality enhancements enabled and graphics details set to “maximum” (this scenario we called “low”) and then with anti-aliasing set at 8x, anisotropic filtering set at 16x and graphics details set to “ultra” (this scenario we called “high”). On all scenarios we set the rendering engine to Shader 3.0. The results, given in frames per second, you check below. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 144.75 28.93%
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 143.59 27.90%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 127.31 13.40%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 112.27  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 108.81 3.18%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 107.90 4.05%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 91.98

22.06%

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 1920x1440 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 138.05 58.84%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 120.16 38.26%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 99.27 14.22%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 86.91  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 82.73 5.05%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 80.62 7.80%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 69.26 25.48%

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 2048x1536 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 132.31 76.44%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 108.58 44.79%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 89.44 19.27%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 74.99  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 74.45 0.73%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 72.60 3.29%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 62.17 20.62%

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 1600x1200 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 133.22 76.26%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 96.58 27.79%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 81.60 7.97%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 78.61 4.01%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 75.58  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 67.41 12.12%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 62.85 20.25%

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 1920x1440 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 109.73 92.27%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 72.53 27.09%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 60.91 6.73%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 58.93 3.26%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 57.07  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 50.04 14.05%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 38.58 47.93%

PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Far Cry 1.4 - 2048x1536 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 100.70 102.33%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 65.46 31.53%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 54.82 10.15%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 52.86 6.21%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 49.77  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 44.99 10.62%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 29.25 70.15%

Battlefield 2142

Battlefield 2142 is the latest member of the Battlefield franchise. We updated this game to version 1.01. We created our own demo based on Sidi Power Plant map (click here to download the demo we created for this test), which provided a very consistent number of frames per second. We ran it and measured performance with FRAPS. Click here to read in details how we benchmarked using Battlefield 2142.

Since we are comparing high-end cards, we ran this game in higher resolutions, as performance difference between high-end video cards is more expressive on such resolutions. We chose three resolutions, 1600x1200, 1920x1440 and 2048x1536. First we ran our demo with image quality set at “low” (with texture manually set at its minimum level) and then with image quality set at “high” (with anti-aliasing manually set at 4x). Below you can see the results, given in frames per second. All video cards listed below were running with the default clock rates defined by the chip manufacturer.

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 400.27 116.71%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 317.54 71.92%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 233.98 26.68%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 195.97 6.10%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 191.74 3.81%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 184.70  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 166.70 10.80%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1600x1200 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 300.40 113.19%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 238.76 69.44%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 175.23 24.36%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 146.36 3.87%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 142.60 1.20%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 140.91  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 123.03 14.53%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 2048x1536 - Low Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 271.20 122.81%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 214.35 76.10%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 157.38 29.30%
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 132.57 8.91%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 131.24 7.82%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 121.72  
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 108.96 11.71%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1600x1200 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 104.83 101.60%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 81.33 56.40%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 62.04 19.31%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 52.00  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 50.53 2.91%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 48.17 7.95%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 42.01 23.78%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 1920x1440 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 77.80 90.87%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 52.51 28.83%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 45.92 12.66%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 40.76  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 36.88 10.52%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 35.05 16.29%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 29.85 36.55%

 PowerColor Radeon X1950 Pro Extreme With Arctic Cooling System

Battlefield 2142 1.01 - 2048x1536 - High Score Difference
GeForce 7950 GX2 (XFX) 69.94 95.20%
GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB (MSI) 46.16 28.83%
GeForce 7950 GT (Zogis) 40.79 13.84%
Radeon X1950 Pro (PowerColor) 35.83  
GeForce 7900 GT (XFX) 33.15 8.08%
GeForce 7800 GTX (XFX) 31.42 14.04%
GeForce 7800 GT (NVIDIA) 26.54 35.00%

Conclusions

Let’s recap what we’ve discovered on our benchmarking.

On 3DMark03, which simulates older games, GeForce 7900 GT was 6%-8% faster than Radeon X1950 Pro at 1600x1200 and at 1920x1440 with no image quality enhancements enabled. They called for a tie at 1920x1440 and 2048x1536 both with image quality enhancements enabled and Radeon X1950 Pro was around 8% faster then GeForce 7900 GT at 2048x1536 with no image quality enhancements enabled. GeForce 7950 GT was between 27% and 35% faster than Radeon X1950 Pro, depending on the configuration we used.

On 3DMark06, which simulates newer games and puts HDR (High Dynamic Range) into the equation, Radeon X1950 Pro was between 14% and 17% faster than GeForce 7900 GT. In fact, we were impressed by the fact that on this program Radeon X1950 Pro was between 17% and 20% faster than GeForce 7800 GTX. Here GeForce 7950 GT was a little bit faster than Radeon X1950 Pro (3%-5%).

Games based on Doom 3 engine like Quake 4 is still a painful place for ATI-based video cards. On this game Radeon X1950 Pro was worse than all other video cards we included in our benchmark.

On F.E.A.R. Radeon X1950 Pro achieved a terrific performance when no image quality settings were enabled: it was between 10% and 14% faster than GeForce 7950 GT and between 34% and 36% faster than GeForce 7900 GT. But when we maxed out image quality settings, GeForce 7950 GT became between 11% and 27% faster and GeForce 7900 GT achieved the same performance level of Radeon X1950 Pro, except at 1920x1440 where the card from PowerColor was 12% faster.

On Far Cry with no image quality enhancements enabled GeForce 7900 GT and Radeon X1950 Pro achieved the same performance level, while GeForce 7950 GT was between 13% and 19% faster. When we maxed out image quality settings, GeForce 7900 GT became between 7% and 10% faster and difference to GeForce 7950 GT increased a lot, to something between 28% and 31%.

Finally on Battlefield 2142 Radeon X1950 Pro was slower than competing video cards when no image quality settings were on (GeForce 7900 GT was between 4% and 9% faster and GeForce 7950 GT was between 24% and 29% faster), but when we enabled image quality settings, it achieved the same performance level of GeForce 7900 GT at 1600x1200 and became between 8% and 10% faster than this video card on higher resolutions. At this scenario GeForce 7950 GT was between 13% and 14% faster.

Radeon X1950 Pro is an interesting competitor to GeForce 7900 GT – if you don’t play Quake 4 or Doom 3, of course. This model from PowerColor can be found for USD 250, on average, ten to fifteen bucks cheaper than a GeForce 7900 GT also with VIVO function from MSI (keep in mind that we need to compare apples to apples). And you get a terrific cooling solution for free.

This would mean a terrific buy, but there are other things you need to put into the equation.

If you have USD 250 and don’t want VIVO function, GeForce 7950 GT offers a far better cost/benefit ratio, as it is faster and costs the same thing. If you like fancy coolers there is a Gigabyte model with a cooler from Zalman for “only” USD 240 at Newegg.com. Honestly, this is our pick at the USD 250 range.

If you don’t want VIVO function but want to buy a Radeon X1950 Pro, you can find one for something between USD 160 and USD 180 – and ASUS has one with a fancy low noise cooler as well.

And also, if you can afford, there is the new GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB at the USD 300 range (but with no VIVO function).

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/PowerColor-Radeon-X1950-Pro-Extreme-with-Arctic-Cooling-System-Review/428


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