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OCC Review: Sapphire HD 2900 XT Video Card

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[url="http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/sapphire_2900/"]Sapphire HD 2900 XT Video Card Review[/url]

[url="http://digg.com/hardware/Does_the_2900XT_compete_with_its_competition_Read_the_review_find_out"][img]http://digg.com/img/badges/91x17-digg-button.gif[/img][/url]

[quote]Precious gems seem to attract anyone and everyone, but one has always been a favorite of mine and that is a genuine sapphire. Just the pure blue color of it grabs my attention even more than a diamond. Sapphire Technology has just released one of their newest gems, the long anticipated Sapphire HD 2900 XT, a video card based on ATI's newest R600 GPU chipset. The R600 chipset was originally planned for release in early 2007, but setbacks have pushed back its release. Hopefully, this extra time has allowed AMD/ATI to make the R600 the best it can be. The Sapphire HD 2900 XT is a DirectX 10 video card that will finally give some competition to nVidia's DirectX 10 series GPUs.[/quote] Edited by jammin

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Well, congrats to OCC for getting a launch-day review on such a major release. Really awesome work guys!

But as for the card itself, I just can't get excited about those results. Yeah, the XT topped the GTS by 5-10% here and there, but it's also 7 months late to the game. Not only that, but the XT is looking like it's going to cost about $100-150 more than the 320GTS right now. Maybe the drivers will make major improvements, or maybe DX10 will better show the 2900's capabilities, but right now it just doesn't seem to beat the price/performance that the 320GTS offers.

There were a lot of people waiting for this launch as the "next big thing", and to me it just isn't :(

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Yep, I would have to agree with you on that.

This certainly isn't going to force nVidia into any price reductions, in fact it seems they have had to reduce the price of the 2900 XT as to what they might have charged to make it competitive.

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[quote name='Verran' post='687975' date='May 14 2007, 01:55 PM']Well, congrats to OCC for getting a launch-day review on such a major release. Really awesome work guys![/quote]

:withstupid: Excellent :)

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[quote name='Verran' post='687975' date='May 14 2007, 03:55 PM']Well, congrats to OCC for getting a launch-day review on such a major release. Really awesome work guys!

But as for the card itself, I just can't get excited about those results. Yeah, the XT topped the GTS by 5-10% here and there, but it's also 7 months late to the game. Not only that, but the XT is looking like it's going to cost about $100-150 more than the 320GTS right now. Maybe the drivers will make major improvements, or maybe DX10 will better show the 2900's capabilities, but right now it just doesn't seem to beat the price/performance that the 320GTS offers.

There were a lot of people waiting for this launch as the "next big thing", and to me it just isn't :([/quote]

:withstupid:

I also agree with Jammin about no prive drops, too bad, I was hoping to pick up another X1950Pro sometime for a nice crossfire addition to my rig :)

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Dissapointing results there :(

i would have expected it to perform better under those conditions, seeing as ATI has had the thing in development for so long.

Just a bit of criticism on the review Paul - Maybe add that the 8800GTS was the 320Mb version in the specs, as i know myself i was woundering if it was the 320, or 640 version. Also in the test bench specs you list Windows XP Pro With SP2, though it is clearly Windows Media Center Edition in the screenshots (unless you are running a MCE skin on XP) - Just wanted to get a bit of clairification on those matters.

Other than that it looks like a decent review though again the performance is a shocker.

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So, let me get this right. That comparison is between:

1. Ati's #2 card(with the xtx to be the flagship right?)--coming in at a hefty $429 on newegg

--AND--

2. A $300 nvidia card that I would say is a low end performance card--still well above average, and by no means a budget or even mid-grade card, but not anywhere near the flagship cards.

If this is what the R600 has to offer, then I would guess nvidia is NOT sweatin' right now!

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[quote name='upok' post='688021' date='May 14 2007, 10:58 AM']So, let me get this right. That comparison is between:

1. Ati's #2 card(with the xtx to be the flagship right?)--coming in at a hefty $429 on newegg

--AND--

2. A $300 nvidia card that I would say is a low end performance card--still well above average, and by no means a budget or even mid-grade card, but not anywhere near the flagship cards.

If this is what the R600 has to offer, then I would guess nvidia is NOT sweatin' right now![/quote]


No kidding, this is a pretty big letdown from ATI

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[quote name='upok' post='688021' date='May 14 2007, 12:58 PM']So, let me get this right. That comparison is between:

1. Ati's #2 card(with the xtx to be the flagship right?)--coming in at a hefty $429 on newegg

--AND--

2. A $300 nvidia card that I would say is a low end performance card--still well above average, and by no means a budget or even mid-grade card, but not anywhere near the flagship cards.

If this is what the R600 has to offer, then I would guess nvidia is NOT sweatin' right now![/quote]
I don't know if I'd say a $300 card is "low end". Maybe to some people, but I think you'll find that 8800 [i]anything[/i] is generally referred to as "high end". GTS is nVidia's second best, and XT is ATi's second best. Now technically the 640GTS is 2nd, and the 320GTS is 3rd, but you get the point. 2nd best vs. 2nd best is pretty fair. And if you just take a general look at performances over all the categories, they're pretty evenly matched.

The biggest problem the XT has going for it is that it's late. It's higher priced right now, but not really any higher than the [i]launch[/i] price of the GTS. If this card had launched along-side the 8800's half a year ago, it'd be a pretty good contender. But now it's late, and people have been waiting a LONG time. Contending is no longer good enough. On top of that, the 8800's have had time to drop prices a bit, so now the XT is more expensive.

If you ask me, the GTS hasn't really had its crown taken away yet (at least not by any significant margin). On top of that, it holds a significantly better price, and it's now "tried and true". I just don't see a good reason to go for the XT.

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I think everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that the HD2900XT uses 240W vs about 113W for the 8800GTS...

so that's 480W for just the cards for XT-CF... 226W for GTS-SLI... pretty significant difference... especially as 480W is more than almost everyone's total rig consumption (mine uses a touch over 400W at full dual core load with SLI... maybe slightly more since i added a couple more harddrives)

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[quote name='hardnrg' post='688043' date='May 14 2007, 02:20 PM']I think everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that the HD2900XT uses 240W vs about 113W for the 8800GTS...[/quote]
Yikes! I did overlook that point. That certainly isn't helping matters. Those 2900 cards better come with a new PSU :P

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[quote name='hardnrg' post='688043' date='May 14 2007, 02:20 PM']I think everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that the HD2900XT uses 240W vs about 113W for the 8800GTS...

so that's 480W for just the cards for XT-CF... 226W for GTS-SLI... pretty significant difference... especially as 480W is more than almost everyone's total rig consumption (mine uses a touch over 400W at full dual core load with SLI... maybe slightly more since i added a couple more harddrives)[/quote]
From the news post today, [url="http://www.overclockersclub.com/news/19713/"]Article: Radeon HD 2000 Series: 3D Architecture Explained[/url], on the last page of the article:
[quote]All this horsepower comes at a cost. The Radeon HD 2900 XT is built on an 80nm manufacturing process, and it eats up a lot of juice. So much so that this $400 card has two PCIe power plugs on it

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