ATI Radeon X1950XTX 512MB Video Card Review :: Introduction

09-26-2006 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun

It is a little hard to imagine that it's been four years since Microsoft introduced DirectX 9.0 and a little longer than that since ATI released their RADEON 9700 Pro, but it has. The first time I met Doc Overclock was when ATI launched the 9700 Pro at a big party up in San Francisco. Their video cards have been used in my primary gaming computer virtually non-stop since then.

AMD and ATI recently announced a merger between the two companies. What impact that will have on the future of the discrete graphics market is uncertain. What is certain is that the computer industry has already made a few adjustments because of the announcement. Orders for Intel-supporting ATI motherboards have fallen, causing ATI to miss their revenue estimates along with a handheld delay by over 100 million USD.

ATI Radeon X1950XTX 512MB Video Card Review

One interesting point was made by Jon Peddie Associates, a leading market analysis company on computer graphics companies. While the integrated market has the most market share, the Performance segment of the graphics card market takes the lion's share of the revenue. According to JPR estimates over 62% of the graphics chips sold on the market are integrated to the motherboard. The same report indicates that the graphics chips that cost $199 and above take in 74% of the revenue. This is one of the reasons ATI and NVIDIA have continued to thrive.

ATI launched their Shader Model 3.0 video cards; the R520 in October of 2005, a full year and a half after their competition NVIDIA launched their SM 3.0 cards. The X1800 series (X1800XT, X1800GT and X1800XTX) were short-lived products that survived just three months due to a delay in the chip's launch because of problems reaching the targeted clock speed. Earlier this year ATI released the X1900XTX which replaced the X1800. Today I'm reviewing the X1950XTX card from ATI, the latest in a long line of their cards.