Sapphire Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX - HotHardware

Sapphire Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX

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**Update: Sapphire re-branded this product the Toxic Radon X1900 XTX after our review was published.

Sapphire has been one of ATI's premier board partners for quite some time now. Their products tend to be very similar to those available directly from ATI themselves, but Sapphire does take additional steps to differentiate their offerings with unique accessory and software bundles, and occasionally unique cooling solutions. In the past, we've reviewed a couple of Sapphire's passively cooled "Ultimate Edition" cards and have also evaluated a few products in their "Toxic" family of products that feature oversized air coolers. Today though, we're going to take a look at a Sapphire's first liquid-cooled card, the Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX.

As its name implies, the Sapphire Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX is based upon ATI's latest flagship GPU, but instead of featuring a dual-slot heatsinks / fan assembly like ATI's cards, the Toxic is equipped with a slick, self-contained liquid-cooler that keeps the GPU cool without generating much noise. Sapphire also plans to ship the card pre-overclocked, which will give it a performance advantage over any standard Radeon X1900 XTX that strictly adheres to ATI's reference specifications. Check it out...

Sapphire Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX
Features & Specifications
Features - ATI Radeon X1900
. 380+ million transistors on a 90nm fabrication process
. Ultra-threaded architecture with fast dynamic branching
. Forty-Eight pixel shader processors
. Eight vertex shader processors
. 256-bit 8-channel GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
. Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
. Dynamic Voltage Control

Ring Bus Memory Controller
. 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
. Programmable intelligent arbitration logic
. Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
. Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
. Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
. Fast Z-Buffer Clear
. Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
. Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions


Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
. Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
. Full speed 128-bit floating point processing for all shader operations
. Up to 512 simultaneous pixel threads
. Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic branching and flow control
. Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency
. 3Dc+ texture compression
_o High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel data formats
_o High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and single-channel data formats
. Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
. Render to vertex buffer support
. Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL 2.0

Avivo Video and Display Engine
. High performance programmable video processor
_o Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding (including DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray playback), encoding & transcoding
_o DXVA support
_o De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
_o Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion
_o Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
_o 3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion)
. Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
. HDR tone mapping acceleration
_o Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output
. Flexible display support
_o Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
_o DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready
_o Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
_o 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
_o Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
_o Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
_o High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
_o Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
_o XilleonTM TV encoder for high quality analog output
_o YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
_o Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays
_o Fast, glitch-free mode switching
_o VGA mode support on all outputs
. Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including Theater 550
Advanced Image Quality Features
. 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
. 32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
. 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
_o Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
_o New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and Quality modes
_o Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode
_o Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
. 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
_o Up to 128-tap texture filtering
_o Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options
. High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k)


CrossFire
. Multi-GPU technology
. Four modes of operation:
_o Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance)
_o Supertiling (optimal load-balancing)
_o Scissor (compatibility)
_o Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality)
_o Program compliant


Top View


Side View


Front View

  

 

Sapphire's high-end cards have been shipping with a very comprehensive software and accessory bundle as of late. Included with the card itself, we found a basic user's manual, an addendum detailing CrossFire power requirements, a driver CD-ROM, and an assortment of other discs that included copies of Cyberlink's PowerDVD 6, Power Director 4, and Sapphire's "Software Select" CD.  Although it wasn't included in our sample, the Toxic will also ship with a copy of Sapphire's "TRIXX" overclocking utility.  The copy of Cyberlink's Power Director video editing software was included to compliment the card's video in / video out (ViVo) capabilities. In past reviews we've found an older version of Power Director to be quite useful and easy to use (see here).

The Software Select CD is a Sapphire exclusive that gives buyers a choice of their gaming bundle.  Two unlock codes are included with the disk, with which users can install two of four available games, Brothers in Arms (Road to Hill 30), Prince of Persia (Warrior Within), Richard Burns Rally, or Tony Hawk's Underground 2.

There was also a collection of cables and adapters included with Sapphire's Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX. There was a standard 6-ft S-Video cable included, a composite video cable, and two DVI-to-DB15 adapters along with a splitter for connecting the card to an HD-TV's components inputs, and another adapter equipped with S-Video and composite video inputs and outputs. Lastly, there was a molex-to-6-pin PCI Express power cable adapter thrown in as well.

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