Introduction

A few weeks ago brought the release of ATI's new Radeon X1950 Pro, a GPU designed to replace the X1900 GT and to improve CrossFire operation over its ATI predecessors. It would seem ATI is releasing lots of new products as the holidays come nearer, which isn't that surprising considering the heated competition between card makers that we always see during this time of year. The recent merger between ATI and AMD will make things even more interesting, and we are already seeing some changes over where ATI used to be (particularly with the new ATI/AMD website). We're curious to see what this merger will mean for ATI in the coming months.

We recently looked at the X1950 Pro, and we found it to be a good competitor to the NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS, assuming the price is right. From what we've seen so far though, the price for the X1950 Pro isn't where it should be, and this looks like a bit of a problem for ATI and their potential buyers right now. We aren't seeing many of these cards for sale right now, but those that are available are selling for much higher than the $200 target price ATI mentioned at the card's release. This makes us wonder what we will be seeing in the near future, price wise, for the next card from ATI: the newly launched Radeon X1650 XT.

Yes, ATI has just launched the newest member of the X1650 family, and it looks to offer good performance competition for NVIDIA's GeForce 7600 GT. However, with the X1650 XT, ATI has one strike against it right off the bat. ATI has said that these parts will not be available for purchase until sometime in mid-November, which means we have on our hands another frustrating paper launch. We were glad to see the X1950 Pro launched with parts immediately available (even if they were $100 more expensive than expected), and considering the X1650 Pro and X1300 XT paper launched a while back, we were hoping ATI might have turned a new leaf in this regard; but it seems this isn't the case.

The second strike ATI might have against it is something we mentioned earlier: the price. The X1650 XT is priced by ATI at $150, and although ATI enabled vendors to offer the card at this price, we aren't sure if this is what we will be seeing. In the past, prices for launched GPUs have been fairly close to ATI's suggested mark, but what we have been seeing with the X1950 Pro lately has us a little worried about the X1650 XT. We can speculate that with AMD buying out ATI, on top of the fact that the holiday season is coming up fast, things are a little hectic for ATI. This could account for some of these price and availability issues for their parts.

That said, the point here is to take a look at a different card, the ATI Radeon X1650 XT, and give you our first impressions. We plan to look at the actual card and its features, as well as how it performs as a single GPU, then with two cards in CrossFire mode. We are also going to look at power consumption, and perhaps most importantly, how does the card compare with others available now and what's it worth to the average buyer. Our initial impressions of the X1650 XT and its performance aren't bad at all (provided manufacturers can hit the $150 target), but we'll delve into this later. For now, let's look at the card.

The Card
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  • cornfedone - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    If people stop buying over-priced, over-hyped graphics cards the prices will come down. If people stop pre-ordering paper launched video, mobo, and other PC products, the prices will come down. As long as consumers act stupid and spend money like a drunken sailor then they will be exploited by unscrupulous companies. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    This will not change until after the recession/crash, possible depression, that is coming soon. Reply
  • Niv KA - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    There is a quote I remember, but I don't know from who or the exact quote itself

    quote:

    The Computer industry is only based on the fact that 80% of the customers are dumb

    I'm not sure if it was 80% or the quote was structured that way, I just remember hearing it somewhere... not reading, hearing, from someone important, but I forgot who!
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    Funny having to go to the Crossfire graphs to see how the 7900GT (non SLI) performs compared to it. The end result: Another budget card that seems rather pointless these days when anyone spending $200 on a GPU should be getting something that can at least play these games that are two years old without having to sacrifice framerates so much. Come on now... Reply
  • Spoelie - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    x1650pro still is competition for 7600gs. x1950pro in europe has an okay price (lowest around €180), but availability a bit tight. 7600gt sli benches missing from battlefield graph! Reply
  • viperboy2025 - Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - link

    Anandtech are on crack or something, or they woke up on the bad ATI side in the morning cause they kept bashing them for around 3 or more pages about the price of x1950 pro nto being the said $200 but being $300. I've actually bought one for $205 yesterday recently and there are other ones selling at similar price...

    $203.99 - (from zipzoomflt.com actually went down by $1 from when i bought it 2 days ago)...Sapphire RADEON X1950 PRO 256MB PCI-Express Dual-DVI, HDTV-Out Retail FREE SHIPPING

    $199.99 - (from zipzoomfly..currently out of stock though) Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB PCI-Express Dual-DVI, HDTV-Out Retail ***Free Shipping***

    $199.99 - also from zipzoomfly are x1950 pro from makers of Connect3D and Diamond Viper - (this one is actually higher core clocked to 600MHz rather than 575)

    Only cards on zipzoomfly that are over $200 are one from Gigabyte which is $229.99 but its out of stock so its useless anyways considering there are many others to choose from. There is also one manufactured by ATI themselves but who would buy that considering its at stock speeds and $279.99, $80 above all those other cards...

    Newegg also has the saphire card at $199.99 plus shipping, and it also offers the ATI version at a ridicously overpriced price which is stupid for anyone to go for considering you can get the same card, higher clocked from a different manufacturer for $80 less and shouldn't be taken seriously by anandtech enough to bash ATI for 3-4 pages about all their 1950 pro cards being close to $300 and not near $200 as they promised. Since only one version of that card is offered at an insane inflated price.

    The $200 dollar saphire is also available from pcconnection.com

    Reply
  • viperboy2025 - Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - link

    i know this was a 1650xt pro review but to add another thing anandtech keeps commenting about is that, the x1950 pro is competitive (actually they do they its also better) than the nvidia 7900 GS given their similar price similarity but if you looked at the performance charts some reviews ago about the x1950 pro it is actually very competitive with the 7900GT as a single card solution and they are nearly the same, but the GT costs $300 so in other words ATI owned 7900GT and the lower end 7900GS variant which is so outperformed that it shouldn't even be mentioned, unless you are going to SLi route which is the only thing that helps nvidia cards scale better against ATI crossfire, NVIDIA lost that battle. But one thing to keep in mind is SLI motherboards are way more expansive than single pci-e solution cards, so if you have a big purse, you should be looking for a more powerful card anyways if you haven't gotten one already, also SLI is not really a worth it (value) solution since it would require you to dish out about $400 for 2 7900GS cards or $550-600 for 2 7900GT cards, if you have that kind of money you should be buying a more powerfulful and mroe high-end card anyways, as most review sites will tell you if money allows, always go for a more powerful card rather than doing SLI/crossfire, since those are only options for future upgrades if you are running low on graphics power rather than being a real/viable current graphics solution. (eg the nvidia $500 7950GX2 SLI on 1 card is a better solution than 2 7900GT cards, and you don't even need an SLI mobo for it since it uses one PCI-e lane) Reply
  • kalrith - Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - link

    The 7900GT hasn't cost $300 in quite some time. At ZZF you can get it for either http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Pr...">$200 after a $20 MIR or http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Pr...">$190 after a $40 MIR. The $200 one is overclocked from 470/1.37GHz to 500/1.5GHz, which might be enough to put the 7900GT in the lead over the X1950PRO.

    Either way, both are good cards, and both are the same price. I just wanted to clear things up and say that the following statement is false: "the GT costs $300 so in other words ATI owned 7900GT".
    Reply
  • viperboy2025 - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    btw i got my new ATI card saphire x1950 pro and its great....it comes clocked at (core/memory) 581 MHz/701MHz (x2=1402 Mhz effective memory) which is faster than the 7900GT. I also easily got the ATI card to overlock to 621Mhz/781 x2 = 1562 Mhz effective, which makes this card incredibly fast...if you wanted to get a graphx card that will last you a good two years for games or more look no further, it even comes at a great price of only $200. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 30, 2006 - link

    BF2 7600 GT SLI performance is now added to the top graph. It was in the scaling graph but somehow left out of the 1600x1200-only chart. Reply

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