The ATI RADEON X1950 Pro, 256 MB Graphic Card is made for graphics performance for both a regular screen and Widescreen. This is a PCI Express video card with can transfer information much faster than an AGP card. This card is a gamers dream! It is also the best card I have seen for a widescreen monitor.
With this card you can run two monitors and if your motherboard has two PCIe slots and is CrossFire ready then you can install two of these cards for more performance and run one to four monitors. Definitely great for multi-tasking!
PCI Express verses AGP
First off all, this card fits into a PCIe 16x slot; there is a lot technical differences between a PCIe and AGP slot, so I will explain the basic of each one.
AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port)
An 8x AGP slot has the bandwidth of 2112 MB per second in one direction.
PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)
PCIe 16x uses two directions, it has a bandwidth of 4 GB per second in each direction or 8 GB per second in both directions. A new version 2 just announces doubles the speed of a 16x to 16 GB per second.
Bottom line is you can see that the PCIe transfers information much faster than the AGP.
In the old days before PCIe and AGP there were just plain PCI slots that were used for the video cards. The PCI slots still found on the motherboards today run at 133 MB per second, which is much slower than the PCIe or AGP slots. Memory cards require fast speed transfers to perform well.
The X1950 Pro has resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 in analog display and 2560 x 1600 in digital display.
There are two DVI connections for the digital display, which means you can run two monitors from this card. There is an HDTV connection for analog or digital with custom resolution settings and high definition settings of 480p, 720p and 1080i.
The X1950 Pro has 256 MB of GDDR3 Dual 400 MHz RAMDAC. It uses CrossFire (CrossFire connectors are on the top of the card.) for GPU sharing; that is running two cards together if the motherboard is CrossFire compatible. CrossFire includes multiple load-sharing modes called supertiling. It features Catalyst for better 3D acceleration control. It features Shader which enables you to view more details like seeing a character sweet.
The card is HDCP, (high definition content protection) which prevents pirating of copy protected software and movies. The card offers High Definition with the proper equipment.
The card has a powerful cooling fan built onboard, which is quieter than the fans on my tower case because I only hear the tower case fans. The card is a beautiful bight red that makes it a shame to hide it in a computer case.
Installation is easy, just plug it into a PCIe 16x slot and tighten it down with one screw. Next on the end of the card is a 6-pin connector that must be connected from the power supply, without the connection the card will not work. That is it!
When I turned on my computer, Windows XP recognized the card, but it was in a lower resolution. Next I installed the drivers from the included CD and made the resolution setting I wanted. If you are running a widescreen monitor or regular screen monitor, you will definitely need to install the drivers for the best resolution out there.
The card needs a PCIe 16x slot and a connection from the power supply of at least 450-watt. For CrossFire (running two cards on one computer) is requiring at least a 550-watt power supply. CrossFire also requires a motherboard made for two cards.
You need a CD or DVD drive for installation and the computer system memory should be at least 512 MB.
Bottom Line: many of the low budget computers on the market will have a hard time using this card. If you are building a computer I recommend at least 1 GB of computer memory and at least a 600-watt power supply.
What you get?
The ATI RADEON X1950 Pro, 256 MB Graphic Card
CD with Drivers & Utilities
CrossFire bridge cable
Two DVI to VGA/D- sub adapters
One year warranty for parts and labor
My Final Thoughts
Power and speed is the definition of the ATI RADEON X1950 Pro, 256 MB Graphic Card. The performance is great, I was amazed on how much faster the card was and the performance in video quality of my old ATI RADEON X700 PRO. Also I have gotten a 23 inch widescreen monitor for Christmas and my old card left the fonts a little fuzzy, after installing the X1950, the fonts were crystal clear. My monitor is made for a resolution of 1360 x 760 and the card produces a resolution of 1360 x 768, which works fine with the monitor, the screen is covered well in perfect proportion.
Games are gorgeous without any hesitation at all. The card is run with the AMD 3800 processor and the MSI K8N NEO4 Platinum Motherboard. I love Doom 3, which takes a good video card, and have played it for hours without any hesitation in the game at all.
DVD movie produced crystal clear, real like colors with no hesitation at all. I played Lord of the Rings III and the colors were gorgeous. Viewing my photos through ACDSee produces clarity that brings out any defects that a photo has; this makes photo editing much easier.
Normal use and for the Internet, it produces clarity and a quick response from the processor to the monitor. Its probably my imitation, but it seem like my computer is running better with the new video card.
I have not tried it with another card for dual action because my motherboard doesnt support dual cards. My next motherboard will have two PCIe slot for running two video cards.
Overall, I was a little hesitant in spending $220 for a video card, but now I am tickled that I did get the X1950 Pro card. There is also a 512 MB card available, but the price almost doubles; the 256 MB card seems to have all the power I need for now.
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Amount Paid (US$): 220