It's clear that out of the box performance is where the Radeon X1950PRO really shines; the good news as well is that with the Arctic Cooling solution, we have such a super quiet graphics card at a reasonable cost, which is quite uncommon for graphics cards that make use of an aftermarket cooler.
It would have been nice to see PowerColor include a game in the package as it is somewhat of a special card (like the Bravo series) thanks to the aftermarket cooling, which normally comes with a decent game. Its DVI ports are also HDCP compliant which means you'll be able to playback next-generation HD-DVD and Blu-ray movies using software like PowerDVD HD as long as your drivers and monitor also support HDCP.
It's clear that if you're looking for a Radeon X1950PRO, this product from PowerColor one of the better options out there - it's cheap, quiet and performs very well out of the box. Although even with the cooler, don't expect to really get anywhere with overclocking, it's a core problem and not a cooling related problem by PowerColor.
So, if you're ready to buy a new mid-range graphics card, not interested in overclocking and just want something that is easy to setup and is quiet and comes in at a reasonable price, we would recommend that you have a close look at the PowerColor X1950 PRO Extreme 256MB. It's much cheaper than the 512MB version and isn't much slower than it when it comes to gaming performance and it's about the same price as the GeForce 7900GS from Gigabyte.
You'll be able to play most current games at 1600 x 1200 with high quality settings enabled and some games you'll even be able to play at higher resolutions. All up it's not a bad deal at all for around $300 AUD but it seems harder to find in North America.
Out of the box performance is very good
Aftermarket cooler = quiet cooling!
Very reasonable pricing
Faster than GeForce 7900GS at stock speeds
VIVO and plenty of cables included
Improved Crossfire functionality
Works in Windows Vista (drivers available)
HDCP support for next-generation HD movie playback
Radeon X1950PRO chip does not like overclocking
No game included in package
Rating - 9 out of 10
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