PowerColor HD 2900 XT Video Card Review

Posted: Jul 5 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:11am CDT , in Computer Hardware


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PowerColor HD 2900 XT Video Card Review


Features & Specifications
The PowerColor HD 2900 XT shares the same feature set as the ATI HD 2900 XT that we tested previously. The core frequency is 740MHz, the memory clock is 1650MHz. The same 80nm fabrication process is used and what we see here is the same exact ATI HD 2900 XT that I reviewed previously with some PowerColor stickers and different packaging.

Test Machine
Before we jump into the performance information for the PowerColor HD 2900 XT lets look at the test machine specifications:

  • CPU- Intel QX6700
  • Mainboard- XFX 680i
  • RAM- PNY XLR8 2GB PC2-9384
  • OS- Windows XP Pro SP2
  • Display- Dell 30” UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC

To benchmark the PowerColor HD 2900 XT I will be using 3DMark06, FEAR, Quake 4 and Battlefield 2142. The first test up is 3DMark06.

I ran 3DMark06 at default settings in the 3DMark06 application and default settings in the video card settings. 3DMark06 gave the following data:

  • Total 3DMarks- 11539
  • SM2.0- 4441
  • HDR/SM3.0- 5005
  • CPU- 4099
  • Return to Proxycon- 34.072
  • Firefly Forest- 39.103
  • Canyon Flight- 44.899
  • Deep Freeze- 54.119
  • CPU1- 1.343
  • CPU2- 1.989

To compare the ATI branded HD 2900 XT I reviewed last week scored 11544 3Dmarks, the PNY 8800 Ultra I reviewed scored 13100 3DMarks and the PNY overclocked 8800 GTX scored 12639 3DMarks.

The first game test that I ran on the PowerColor HD 2900 XT was FEAR which I ran at 2560 x 1600 with all max settings with soft shadows on, 16x AF, and 4x AA. The FEAR in game test loop recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 12
  • Avg- 33
  • Max- 72

Percentage wise 16% of the time was below 25fps, 56% of the time was between 25-40 fps and 28% of the time frame rates were greater than 40 fps.

Battlefield 2142
The next game test up was Battlefield 2142 which I ran on high settings with a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 with 4x AA. I used Fraps to record frame rate data on the map called “Fall of Berlin” during a single player game. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 29
  • Avg-44.73
  • Max- 54

Quake 4
The final game test for the PowerColor HD 2900 XT was Quake 4, which I ran at a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 on ultra detail with 16x AA and multi core on. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data from the start of a new game till we meet up with out unit.

  • Min-5
  • Avg- 44.021
  • Max- 66

Final Thoughts
After all the smoke cleared the performance of the PowerColor HD 2900 XT is a near dead match for the ATI branded HD 2900 XT, which is to be expected. The PowerColor HD 2900 XT performs well, but still give sup lots of performance in the end to the overclocked 8800 GTX and 8800 Ultra cards from NVIDIA.




  • Sound card built-in allows HDMI to send video and sound
  • Retail boxes come with three games from Steam


  • ATI’s top-of-the-line cards don’t perform as well as their NVIDIA competitors

If you are an ATI fan and are looking for a video card in red to put into your gaming machine, the PowerColor HD 2900 XT is about as good as it gets right now. You can get more performance from NVIDIA, but ATI has put some appealing technology into the HD 2900 XT video cards like the onboard sound card, which can save you some room in a cramped gaming rig, or a media center PC. In the end if you want higher performance than ATI offers, NVIDIA has it.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, 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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