Introduction

The X1900 took a long time in coming, but now that it's here, it's taken its place squarely on the top in graphics card performance. There's little doubt that it's the most powerful card available now, and while it may currently fall into the too-expensive-to-own category for some, it is our duty here at AnandTech to continue to test and report on the capabilities of this excellent card.

Today, we'll be looking at five different X1900's (XTs and XTXs) to see how well they perform against each other. We have both an XT and an XTX by Sapphire, an XTX from GeCube, and HIS, and finally another XT by PowerColor. These are all quality manufacturers, and we expect to see good performance with each of these cards.

To be clear, the purpose of this review is not to compare these X1900s with other graphics cards, but to compare different versions of the X1900 to each other. We've already taken a look at how the X1900 XT and XTX compare to other cards by ATI and NVIDIA, and you can read the article here.

Because each of these cards come factory clocked at reference speeds (XT: 625/725, and XTX: 650/775), the only differences in performance that we will see out of the box are between the X1900 XTs and X1900 XTXs. However, we will also be looking at how well these cards overclock and other aspects such as their prices. User-overclocking is going to be somewhat important here, as the X1900 XT and XTX are fairly close together in performance already, and we're interested to see if our X1900 XTs will be able to clock up to XTX speeds.

It's a little puzzling to us why the X1900 XT and XTX have such large differences in price (the X1900 XTX costs around $100 more than the XT), given that performance is relatively similar between the two. The notion that an XT can be clocked up to or over XTX speeds makes this seem even stranger, So, it certainly seems clear that ATI is hoping to hook those who just can't settle for anything less than the fastest with the XTX. Our thoughts on this aside, ATI has made the most powerful graphics card to date with the X1900, and we plan on taking a close look at a few of them for you right now.

Sapphire X1900 XT & X1900 XTX
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  • rizki0309 - Thursday, February 16, 2006 - link

    Just Upgrade My Mobo and VGA to from 9800Pro X1900XT Bought for US$620 Yeeeek!!!.... My Eyes oh my eyes is satisfied.... But My EAAAAR.... Ziiiiiiiiing!!!! Those Damn Noise Kill my Audiophile Speakers.... Reply
  • the Chase - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    Hope I didn't miss it in the article but just curious if you did use the 6.2's(I'm sure you did). Also I could easily bring one of these cards to its knees at 1280x960. I think everyone would game with maximum eye candy if their video would let them. Reply
  • ajtyeh - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    and really games with the highest eye candy settings on...

    seriously
    Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    My screen supports 2048x1536@85Hz- and there are a lot of others that frequent AT that grabbed a 2070/2141(over 1600x1200 is the norm amongst the high end video enthusiast where the 2405, FW900 and 2070/2141 dominate).

    Nice roundup Josh, covered all of the important elements for the various boards.
    Reply
  • WooDaddy - Friday, February 17, 2006 - link

    No really...

    Josh, What kind of monitor were you using to test? These resolutions are getting crazy now. It's nice to know they can support that hires with that speed, but what about the display? Which one did you use.

    I'd imagine the rest of us prolly run at 1280, maybe 1600 with a 19" LCD.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Again, we see that the HIS X1900 XTX stands out somewhat as being slightly more quiet than the other cards, likely due to the different HSF


    Bullcrap. That's not at all what your posted results show. It shows it to be just as noisy as the others. Which is a shame considering most of us would LOVE to see some quieter X1900XT cooling solutions offered stock. Where is Sapphire to step up with such an offering? They did with the X800XL (in 256MB and 512MB versions). Gigabyte did it with the 7800GT 256MB.
    Reply
  • sri2000 - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    Remember that decibels are measurements on a logarithmic scale. Rule of thumb: when you have a change of +/- 3 dB means that you're doubling/halving the power of the sound generated (depending on if you're increasing or decreasing). A +1dB change is about a 25% increase in the power of a sound.

    The next quietest XTX card (Sapphire) puts out a .7 dB more powerful sound than the HIS.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Thursday, February 16, 2006 - link

    "Decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement commonly used for intensities of sound or sound pressure. This is a logarithmic unit defined so that an increase of 1dB represents multiplication in signal power (what the speaker produces) of 1,258 or sound pressure (what your ears hear) increase of 1,122. When you place both yourself and the speakers in air the logarithmic scale of sound intensity and sound pressure can be considered identical. Intensity however does not correspond directly to the perception of loudness. We generally perceive loudness to be doubled when the intensity increases by a factor of 10 (10-12dB increase) instead of 2 (3dB increase). This means that 40dB is twice as loud as 30dB, while 110dB is also twice as loud as 100dB. For a little more perspective, a typical conversation is 65 dB, a loud orchestra is 80 dB, unsafe levels start at 90 dB, thunder is around 109 dB, a rock concert is 110 dB and the pain threshold is around 130 dB."

    --3dsoundsurge.com
    Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    .7db is inaudible. Reply
  • AGAC - Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - link

    You still don´t get it, do you?
    If 0.7db is inaudible or in this case, inappreciable, the 0,7db difference from 50,2db is not. I mean it is a lot. That said, 49,5db is still too loud for a graphics card, IMO.

    Looking forward to see some bolder designs with silence in mind. Perhaps heatpipes and bigger/slower fans combined or even water cooling. After all, this is the fastest of the fast high end card of a super duper system. Asus, Gigabyte and Sapphire are certainly working hard make a silent XTX 1900 and stand out from the reference design crowd.
    Reply

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