Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Dual

Article Index

Our Conclusion

We doubt that anyone will argue, even Sapphire, that the Radeon X1950 Pro Dual is an odd product. At this time, even Sapphire themselves do not list it on their website as a full product, and there is no mention of the card's existence beyond the original press release. This probably means Sapphire won't be producing these cards in any substantial quanitity. However, we will give credit to Sapphire for having the courage to produce such a card. Many thought it would only be a "tech-demo" card and would never make it to this level. Even Asus had a similar product (dual X1950 Pro GPUs), although their card never made it to market.

Considering the mid-range graphics processors under the hood of this card, overall gaming performance is actually quite good. A pair of Radeon X1950 Pro GPUs in this configuration can deliver performance similar to Nvidia's GeForce 8800 series cards, while at the same time having similar power requirements. At this time, the X1950 Pro Dual is likely the fastest single-slot ATI solution on the market, although with ATI's R600 chips right around the corner, any market impact this card could possibly make will be minimal.

Sapphire certainly has a tough sell on their hands with this product. GeForce 8800 cards are down to price points of $250-$300 (for the GTS 320 MB), which can deliver similar performance levels and lower noise levels, and won't require any special chassis or Crossfire compatible motherboard. In addition, GeForce 8800 cards have DirectX 10 support, whereas the X1950 Pro Dual is still part of the DirectX 9 generation. If Sapphire had the chance to get these cards on the market 4-5 months ago, it could likely have put up a fight against (higher priced, at the time) GeForce 8 series cards. However, at this point in time, this card's chance to shine has likely passed. Most of the truly unique features which this board was originally touted with (Quad-GPU Crossfire, quad-monitor outputs) were eliminated in order to get the product out the door.

The Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Dual will likely live on as more of a technology demonstration rather than a mass market product. Hopefully Sapphire can chalk this one up to research and development, possibly allowing for future multi-GPU cards to be produced and sold faster. It's a great product to wow your friends with (check out the size of this card - it's huge!), but unless Sapphire can push these things at around $250, it will be tough to convince potential buyers. Sapphire hasn't mentioned an official MSRP, although original estimates pegged a price tag of around $350-$400.

  • High-End Performance with Mid-Range GPUs
  • Dual-GPU Cooling System Quieter Than Single GPU X1950 Pro Cards
  • Internal Crossfire Connectivity
  • HDCP Support
  • Huge PCB Wont Fit In Most Cases
  • Wont Work Correctly on Nvidia Motherboards
  • No DirectX 10 Support

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Tags:  Radeon, Sapphire, App, dual, x1, SAP, pro, AP

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