After the smoke clears and the dust settles, we see ourselves looking at a very impressive graphics card indeed. I generally use the "Rule of 10" when looking at a viable upgrade. Simply put, if a new component can produce a minimum of 10% increase in performance across the spectrum, then it is worthy of consideration as an upgrade option. We see exactly this with the X1900XT series graphics card and then some. With Far Cry being the only benchmark that showed only a 10% increase in performance (not including the UT2004, which doesn't care about the card installed), we certainly have something to consider here.
With second generation support of SM3 and some eye candy loving HDR support included in this card, you're looking at something that will not only give awesome performance, but will also allow you to see the latest game titles in all their glory. Of course, if you happen to be one who loves the benchmark numbers, you won't be too disappointed either.
As far as pricing is concerned, I'm a little concerned about the XT model. While it runs about $100 USD cheaper than the X1800XT, it is only about $40 USD less than the vaunted X1900XTX model. I would like to see a more aggressive reduction in price between the two X1900 models. But then, I can see saving the few dollars and simply overclocking the XT to XTX speeds with relative ease. Oh, sorry, the price? About $450-ish is what you can expect to lay out for one of these things.
Bottom line... If you've been looking for a graphics that falls squarely into the "High-End" arena, you will find several choices. If you're looking for a card that kicks ass and is still cheaper than the top-end product on the market, BUT still manages to give you all the capabilities of the big brother, then let me introduce you to this Sapphire X1900XT. With performance that is simply amazing and support for all the latest and greatest rendering techniques being used now, you certainly won't be sorry when buying this little gem. It is loud, but it is strong.
512MB onboard memory
Second generation SM3 support
HDR allows for excellent lighting effects
AA/AF performance with minimal FPS loss
Requires two slots
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Performance Award!
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