Gigabyte Gigabyte Radeon X1950 Pro (GV-RX195P256D-RH)
- Comes with a Zalman cooler
- Doesn't have video-in, Sluggish at resolutions higher than 1280 x 1024
A well-built card with some scope for overclocking that is suitable for gaming at a resolution of 1280 x 1024. It will provide its smoothest results at this resolution, but it may struggle at higher settings.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
While it may carry a standard ATI Radeon X1950 Pro graphics processing unit (GPU), the latest Gigabyte GV-RX195P256D-RH graphics card differs in many ways from a standard model. Gigabyte has built this card using its own circuit board design, solid capacitors and a Zalman cooler, which give it a couple of advantages over other X1950 Pro series cards, including less noise and cooler temperatures.
The GPU on this board runs at 574MHz and the 256MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1378MHz. These speeds are conservative so there is potential for overclocking this card, especially since it comes with a large Zalman heat sink and fan, which helped keep temperatures down. It also proved to be a relatively quiet operator during our evaluation, which is a great feature, as X1950 Pro cards tend to be quite loud.
It's a suitable card for playing current games at a resolution of 1280 x 1024, but if you plan to play games at a higher resolution, it may struggle.
In our tests, the card scored 96 frames per second (fps) in Quake 4 at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 without anti aliasing (AA) enabled. With 4x AA enabled at the same resolution, the card scored 60fps. In FEAR, its result of 42fps at a resolution of 1280 x 960 without AA enabled is a good one, but its 31fps at 1280 x 960 with 4x AA enabled means gameplay could get a little sluggish when there is a lot of action on the screen.
At the higher resolution of 1600 x 1200, the card performed well in Quake 4, but it struggled in FEAR, where it scored 29fps without AA enabled, and 21fps with 4x AA. This is a very sluggish result. If you have an LCD monitor that has a native resolution higher than 1280 x 1024, and you want to play your games at the native resolution so they look their best, then this card will probably not suit you.
As for connectivity, this card is CrossFire capable, and it has two DVI ports and a TV-out port. The TV-Out port can support component and S-Video connections via a dongle, but cables for these connections are not supplied.
All up, this is a well-built card that is suitable for gaming at a resolution of 1280 x 1024. It will provide its smoothest results at this resolution, but it may struggle when pushed higher.
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