Sapphire X1950 Pro 512Mb AGP

The industries shift to the PCI-Express platform left many enthusiasts lacking the ability to update their graphics card. Because of that they were forced to either change their motherboard (often requiring they replace the CPU as well) or to keep their current hardware and hope that some day a quality AGP card would come out. Those who have been unable to afford the upgrade to PCIe have had very slim pickings this year, however Sapphire have announced the AGP version of one of the best cards of 2006 – the X1950Pro.

As you can see in the picture above the drivers recognize the card as a regular X1950 Pro, the only difference being the bus type. The rest of the CCC looks exactly the same as it does on the PowerColor X1950 Pro we used to compare the card with. The board even supports the ATI Overdrive feature. The clocks are the same as the PCI-E version from Sapphire – 580Mhz on the GPU and 700Mhz for the memory. The card we reviewed sported 512 Mb of GDDR3 memory which is quickly becoming the new standard. It goes without saying that the AGP card doesn't support Crossfire.

The card looks almost identical to it's PCI-E counterpart, the only major difference being the two molex connectors instead of the single PCI-E power connector and the AGP pins at the bottom. The cooler uses only a single slot and doesn't look all that efficient. It's performance is analyzed further on in the review, but the initial impression was far from good.

The output connectors on the card are standard fare, that being two dual-DVI connectors and a HD capable TV-out plug. As expected for an X1K series card it supports AVIVO which enables it to accelerate video decoding.

The package is smaller than usual and my first thought was that it only contained the card and the driver CD. After opening it I was (thankfully) proven wrong as all the classic cables are provided together with a molex cable that should come in handy in case you are running out of free molex connectors. The software CD that comes with the card contains only the drivers and all the software needed to get them set up (.net framework for example).



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