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Review: GeCube vs Sapphire - Radeon X1950 Pro AGP: the must-have upgrade?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 4 April 2007, 08:35

Tags: ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaiaf

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It's little wonder that the company formerly known as ATI had a hit on its hands with its RV570 SKU. Commonly known as the Radeon X1950 Pro, it married high-end architecture with an attractive street price. Retail examples now ship at just over Ā£100, including the dreaded VAT.

Technically-speaking, RV570, as the name intimates, is from the R5xx family and packs in 36 pixel processors, 8 vertex shaders, a threaded architecture capable of dispatching 384 simultaneous threads, and, in most cases, 256MiB of GDDR3 memory that's attached via a 256-bit bus.

Those with a geeky inclination will be able to discern the RV570's performance potential. ATI, however, also chose the RV570 as the GPU to introduce internal CrossFire: no more messing around with external dongles.

HEXUS' opinion of the RV570 hasn't changed - it's a fine, fine buy if you're looking for a PCI-Express graphics card in the midrange space, complete with forward-looking HDCP compliance.

But what happens if your motherboard's primary graphics is still based around the seemingly long-forgotten AGP slot? The choices, and by inference, the performance is far more limited.

GeCube and Sapphire have taken it on themselves to design and market AGP variants of the X1950 Pro SKU. Read on to find out if the 'Pro's goodness is the expected boon for AGP.