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Taiwan Exclusive - GeCube Dual GPU Radeon X1650XT Tested - Final Thoughts

We exclusively test the Gemini 2 dual GPU Radeon X1650XT graphic card from GeCube - it's Crossfire using a single card!

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Dec 7, 2006 5:00 am

Final Thoughts

 

To be honest, our thoughts on GeCube's Gemini 2 are mixed. Given that it is a non-final product and GeCube and ATI are still working together on drivers for further 3D performance on the dual GPU's, it's looking like quite a positive product to us. Even before the card is ready, it's starting to prove itself against the higher-end X1950PRO and at times would come close to matching Radeon X1950XT 256MB's performance.

 

The idea is quite an interesting one in that you can run ATI Crossfire mode from a single graphics card in what GeCube are calling Self-Crossfire. I can't help but thinking though that this idea would have been better executed when Crossfire first finally hit the market. Back then it was more of a pain to get everything setup, trying to find master cards and what-not. Nowadays and with the very latest Catalyst drivers, you can run many different kinds of Radeon cards in software Crossfire mode without the need of a master card or even an annoying dongle. If GeCube could somehow make Gemini 2 officially work on any motherboard, regardless of chipset, it would make a big difference, we feel.

 

Nevertheless, the idea behind Gemini 2 is still good and right now the product is working well and we like what we see. Being Self-Crossfire, there is less screwing around when setting up your system - just plug it in, enable Crossfire in Catalyst Control Center, reboot one time and you're up and running. If for whatever reason your motherboard only has a single PCI Express graphics slot and you want Crossfire graphics, this would be one of your only choices. And I don't know too many people that have four monitors but the Quad DVI output feature is definitely one which will help this product in the sales area. We haven't investigated software Crossfire enough to make any hasty comments but it would be interesting to know what type of performance hit there is by taking away the dongle and letting the driver handle everything. It might well be that the Gemini 2 has a big advantage over two separate Radeon X1650XT cards running in Crossfire but unfortunately we couldn't test that at this stage but we will later.

 

Only time will tell how well the graphic card sells for GeCube. It's quite an interesting product and it's hard to gauge how the market will react to it. Taking practicalities away from the story, it's a pretty exciting product and some users are likely to go for it purely because it has dual GPU and the 1337 factor. Thumbs up to GeCube and their engineers for figuring out finally how get this sort of technology working and I'll admit that we're excited about it.

 

GeCube have quite an interesting product on their hands which initially we think is good (performance, quiet and single slot cooling, quad DVI, simple and quick Crossfire setup, physics support and HDCP) but we won't make any final conclusions until we are given the final product with the latest tweaked drivers.

ATI RADEON X1900, (256 MB) PCI Express Graphic Card

 

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