Well, Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro has left many contradictory impressions.
It's a fast video card which can extend life of a good AGP based system for a
couple more years. In a matter of fact, it offers good to very good performance
even for the hardest game modes tested. Beyond doubt it's faster significantly
than the primary NVIDIA powered competitor — BFG GeForce 7800GS OC, with
or without overclocking. This card has been able to deliver performance
comparable to shown by the leader at 1024x768 with trilinear filtering only.
However, it's no way a slow solution, and owners of GeForce 7800GS AGP cards
should remain satisfied with their silicon horses for some more time. On the
other hand, there are some serious quality related issues with Sapphire Radeon
X1950 Pro. In particular, the card is non-overclockable almost completely. There
is a 1-year manufacturer's warranty, but beware.
In general, Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro doesn't appear to be tough enough to
handle the games tested at acceptable frame rates. Of course, if the reader
feels comfortable while playing at 1024x768 with no anti-aliasing enabled and
has some plans to replace this card with something more powerful in a while, or
even to change the whole configuration in favour of PCI Express, such a purchase
may sound reasonable. However, it also appears not much faster than considerably
older Sapphire Radeon 9600XT. You can imagine what could happen if some top
performance ATI video card of the past such as a Radeon 9800XT or X850XT has
been tested instead. Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro wouldn't feel comfortable with
such a comparison most likely. The author hasn't got much to say about Sapphire
Radeon 9600XT. It has been a good performer in the not so distant past, and it
hasn't been expected to leave Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro in the dust indeed.
Anyway, you cannot demand much from this card.
The author thanks to:
- Sapphire Technology
and personally to Konstantin Martynenko for both Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro 512Mb
AGP and Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro 256Mb AGP;
- BFG Technologies and
personally to Michael Proshletsov for a BFG GeForce 7800GS OC 256Mb AGP.