Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tech Link (Graphics): Fall GPU Updates : GeForce 7950 GT and Radeon X1950 XTX

GamePC has a really neat article up on their Lab Reports section. It's about the two giants in the video card gaming industry (Intel is still king in over-all graphics market share) going head on, full blast, with their high end gaming machines. You've got to read this one, the images of the video card are so real, I can almost taste it (yuuck). Expand for more.

The Final Word
Fall GPU updates are always fun, as one can get the same high-end cards which were available six months ago for far lower prices, often times with better features and more advanced cooling solutions. However, the problem here is that when fall GPU updates are released, everyone is already talking about the next-generation spring architectures, which will likely outperform today’s cards by a good margin. However, for those who are price savvy, fall GPU updates are always the way to go to get the most bang for your buck.

First off, ATI’s Radeon X1950 XTX 512 MB card is an excellent high-end product, which is capable of besting the GeForce 7900 GTX card in most benchmarks while at the same price. The Radeon X1950 XTX card now has a great low-noise cooling solution, which is not quite as silent as the 7900 GTX, but should still satisfy most people. The X1950 XTX card also has VIVO support and HDCP support, which most 7900 GTX cards don’t have, so all-in-all, ATI looks to have a better product. However, ATI’s Crossfire multi-GPU implementation still isn’t great, requiring a dedicated master card (which are still very difficult to find on the market) and a clunky external cable. However, if you’re just looking for a single high-end card, the Radeon X1950 XTX is a great option.

The GeForce 7950 GT card is an excellent card in terms of price/performance, as it’s being offered for the same price as the GeForce 7900 GT card, but now boasts improved performance with double the memory and higher clock speeds. In addition, 7950 GT cards support HDCP and many have low-noise cooling solutions attached. XFX is even shipping a completely passive (zero noise) 7950 GT card, which is quite amazing. However, given the card’s excellent power consumption numbers, it’s not incredibly mind boggling. We were disappointed with the 7950 GT’s lackluster overclocking, but in the grand scheme of things, the 7950 GT is still an excellent card for the money. We’re predicting it will be a huge hit for the fall, as the older GeForce 7900 GT and GTX cards start to fade away.

Both cards are targeted at high-end gamers, but at different price points, so we won’t directly compare them. However, at this time, it looks like nVidia still has a stronger product lineup for high-end gamers with the dual-GPU 7950 GX2 for top of the line gamers and the efficient 7950 GT card for those who don’t want to break the bank. ATI’s X1950 XTX card revives them quite a lot though, and their recent price drops on the Radeon X1900 XT cards are absolutely smoking deals, if you can stand the loud GPU cooler. To us, it looks like both companies are positioned well for the holiday battle.

Source:Fall GPU Updates : GeForce 7950 GT and Radeon X1950 XTX

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