PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB Graphics Card Review

Posted: Jan 23 2007, 12:00am CST | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:04am CDT, in Reviews | Computer Hardware


PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB Graphics Card Review
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The X1950 Pro Extreme sets itself apart from the normal X1950 Pro by having 512MB of GDDR3 rather than the standard 256MB of RAM. The specs of the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card are as follows:

  • Memory & Bus Width- 512 MB GDDR3/256 bit
  • Core Speed- 600 MHz
  • Memory Speed- 700 MHz x 2
  • Output- DVI/VIVO/HDTV
  • Interface- PCIE x16
  • Pixel Pipelines- 36 Pixel Processors
  • DirectX Support- 9.0
  • TV Connector- S-Video

The remainder of the features of the card are listed on the PowerColor website at this link. One of the most interesting features of this graphics card is the silent cooling fan called the arctic Cooling Accelero X2. While this heatsink looks massive, it is still small enough for the card to require only one PCI slot. The design uses six heat pipes and will work in CrossFire mode as well as in BTX chassis. Check out the PowerColor website for full specifications.

PowerColor X1950 Pro Extreme

CrossFire in the X1950 Pro series of cards requires no external dongle and uses an internal connector similar to the one that NVIDIA uses for SLI. PowerColor has a notice on the product page that says that there was a shortage of the CrossFire connectors and some cards shipped without them. If you buy one of these that is missing the CrossFire cable PowerColor will send you one free of charge.

For this review I used my test system with the following specifications:

  • CPU- Intel QX6700
  • Mainboard- EVGA 680i
  • HDD- 1x 74GB Raptor, 1x 750 GB Seagate
  • RAM- 2GB Crucial PC2-8000
  • Video- PowerColor X1950 Pro Extreme
  • PSU- PC Power & Cooling 1KW TurboCool

PowerColor X1950 Pro Extreme Back

IBack side of the X1950 Pro

Now let’s get into the performance of the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card. For testing this card I used FEAR, 3DMark06 and Battlefield 2142. First up was FEAR which I ran at the following settings:

  • Single player physics: Max
  • Multiplayer physics: Max
  • Software sounds: Med
  • Particle bouncing: Max
  • Shell casings: On
  • World detail: Max
  • Corpse detail: Max
  • Effects details: Max
  • Model decals: Max
  • Water resolution: Max
  • Reflections & displays: Max
  • Volumetric lights: On
  • Volumetric light density: Med
  • FSAA: Off
  • Light detail: Max
  • Enable shadows: On
  • Shadow details: Max
  • Soft shadow: Off
  • Texture filter: AF 4x
  • Texture resolution: Max
  • Video resolution: Max
  • Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Shader: Max

The in game test loop gave me the following frame rate data at the settings listed above:

  • Min- 52
  • Avg- 105
  • Max 258

At these settings 100% of the time frame rates were greater than 40 fps. Cranking the settings up to max on all settings and 1920 x 1200 screen resolution was much harder on the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card dropping the average frame rate to 40 fps with a minimum of 20 fps and a max of 94 fps. The next test up was with Battlefield 2142 at maximum settings and a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200 and 4x AA.

Since Battlefield 2142 doesn’t have an in game test loop like FEAR I used Fraps to record in game frame rate data. The data was recorded on a single player map called “Fall of Berlin”. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min 39 fps
  • Avg- 47.035 fps
  • Max- 56 fps

The PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card had no problems playing BF2142 at these high detail levels. The final test I ran on the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card was with 3DMark06. The card scored a respectable 5236 total 3DMarks making it a decent performer for a mid range priced graphics card.



Overall, the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card is a nice card for the money. It will play the latest games out there at higher levels of graphic detail if not maxed out. If you are shopping it the sub $300 price range for a graphics card, the PowerColor ATI X1950 Pro Extreme 512MB graphics card should be on your short list.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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