Feeds
80%

Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT-based graphics card

Cheaper than the X1950 Pro - but potentially as powerful?

High performance access to file storage

Testing a single GT gave respectable figures in all departments, although performance started to suffer when we enabled 4x anti-aliasing. Performance is about 20 per cent lower than the Pro so naturally enough our thoughts turned to overclocking, especially when we read claims that the GT can be made to run as faster than a Pro, getting up to a core speed of 608MHz and 1486MHz memory.

We installed ATITool 0.27 Beta 1 and tried to raise the core and memory clocks and immediately caused the PC to restart, not once but several times. The moral of this tale is that the 1950 GT is not a Pro in a different box, but is instead a chip that has failed to make the grade as a Pro. If you get lucky then all well and good but don’t go banking on an easy overclock.

3DMark06 1.1 Benchmark Results
Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT - 3DMark06
Bigger bars are better

Far Cry 1.4 Benchmark Results
Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT - Far Cry
Bigger bars are better

We fell back on Plan B and installed a second GT in CrossFire mode, which worked flawlessly. As ever some games and benchmarks respond to the second graphics card while others show no benefit. 3DMark06 jumped by a healthy margin, Far Cry didn’t change at all, FEAR: Extraction Point gained about 25 per cent and Half Life 2 edged up by a moderate amount.

FEAR: Extraction Point Benchmark Results
Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT - FEAR
Bigger bars are better

Half-life 2: Lost Coast Benchmark Results
Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT - Half-life 2
Bigger bars are better

We were impressed by the results but we’d expect something good from £200 of graphics card, whether it comes in one card or two. The upshot is that that we can consign the original Master/Slave CrossFire arrangement to history, along with the wretched external cables. Internal CrossFire is the only type to go for, and anyone who is interested in a budget graphics card should strongly consider the X1950 GT. The Pro is better and barely more expensive but if you’re on a tight budget this £99 wonder may do the trick.

Verdict

We all know that the days of Radeon X1950 are numbered as the X2000 series is just around the corner, but never mind that. The £99 GT delivers the goods and deserves a place on your short list for a gaming or Vista-inspired graphics upgrade.

High performance access to file storage

80%

Sapphire Radeon X1950 GT-based graphics card

Sapphire's Radeon X1950 GT is an underclocked X1950 Pro that sells for under £100. Deal or no deal?
Price: £99 inc VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.