Benchmark Analysis & Conclusion
Performance Summary: Forgoing its early victory in 3DMark05 and relatively strong showing in HL2: Lost Coast, the Sapphire X1900 GT didn't fare too well in the rest of the benchmarks. In fact, in some of our higher resolution tests the X1900 GT barely beat out the older X1800 XL and GeForce 7800 GT. With their price points being nearly equal as of today, we have to give the edge to NVIDIA's GeForce 7900 GT as our current mid-range graphics card of choice.
Upon first inspection, the Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT is intriguing considering it is based upon the excellent R580 core, albeit with lower clock speeds and fewer pixel shader processors and ROPs. Then we opened the box and found what was a nice assortment of games, multimedia software, and cables that seemed to signify that this was more of a high-end product.
However, once we got down and dirty with the benchmarks, we weren't terribly impressed with the numbers, especially when compared to the competition. In all but a handful of tests, the 7900 GT not only beat the X1900 GT, but beat it handily. The numbers were much more favorable when compared to the older 7800 GT, or the X1800 XL, but those aren't the cards the Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT will do battle with over the long run. When evaluating a relatively new product like this, we want to see how it fares against the competition's latest as well, and the Radeon X1900 GT just doesn't compare favorably to the GeForce 7900 GT at their current price points. Of course, this situation is likely to change over time, but for now the 7900 GT is the better value. With an average retail price of $289, the Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT is a bit overpriced and underpowered in comparison to the GeForce 7900 GT, even though Sapphire's offering is one of the least expensive X1900 GTs around. This is good video card that just happens to be a bit overpriced at this time. We're giving the Sapphire Radeon X1900 GT a 7.5 on the Heat Meter.