Sapphire X1600 Pro PCIe Video Card Review

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Sapphire X1600 Pro PCIe Video Card Review

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:41 pm

Sapphire X1600 Pro PCIe Video Card Review

The Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro has come down in price recently and Legit Reviews steps in to take a look at this sub $120 mainstream video card. Based on ATI's Radeon X1600 core it features core clocks of 500MHz with a 12 pipeline architecture and GDDR3 memory IC's rated at 800MHz. While all these fancy terms sound good on paper let's see how it benchmarks!

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Article Title: Sapphire X1600 Pro PCIe Video Card Review
Pricing Link: Live Pricing
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Postby Reefa_Madness » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:04 pm

Looking forward to your Crossfire testing with these cards as I'm very interested in seeing what these budget cards will do in a CF environment.

I'm curious as to whether or not they would compete with a 6800GS or a X800GTO2, for example? What would be the best choice in the $175-$225 range...two of these or a single, but better card.

I've always been under the impression that the single card would be a better choice, but whether that is true or just a bias on my part is what I would like to see answered.

Also...is my understanding that the X1600XT is a slightly better card than the X1600 Pro correct?
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Postby Apoptosis » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:17 pm

Brian just came over and picked up the X1600 Pro card a couple of hours ago so the review will be up in a little over a week. He is currently benchmarking some GeForce 7900 GT's in single and SLI for a feature article right now.

The X1600 XT is indeed a faster card than the X1600 Pro, but at a higher price tag also.

I too am very interesting in the outcome of his benchmarking as the X1600 Pro cards are dropping in price and don't need a dongle to run in CrossFire. On the ASUS CrossFire Xpress 3200 board it should have an open highway in terms of bandwidth, so we will see how they scale.
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Postby Reefa_Madness » Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:19 pm

A couple of weeks ago, on a lark, I picked up a DFI RDX200 CF-DR from a member at one of the other forums and am looking to play with it in CF mode so these X1600 series cards would fit my budget quite nicely.

I'll be looking forward to your review of these cards in CF mode.
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Postby RussTC3 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:54 pm

I appoligize if this is the wrong place to post this, but I'm assuming the AGP and PCI Express cards are relatively the same?

I'm in the market to upgrade my PC with a better video card (I'm currently running an outdated but decent GeForce 3 Ti 200) and I'm looking at three different models, I was wondering if you can recommend something to me.

They are the x1300Pro, the x1600Pro and the x1600XT. I'm willing to spend $100-200 or so.

Here is my system:

Windows XP Professional SP2
AMD Athlon XP 2500+
512MB DDR

Which is the best card out of those three chipsets? I'm confused because the 1300Pro seems to be more expensive, but it's not a better card is it? And I can't find reviews fro the 1600pro, only the 1600xt. Or would I be better served to pick up one of nVidia's chips. The 6800 is comparable correct?

Thanks!
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Postby Immortal » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:30 pm

You wont be able to upgrade to PCIe because older boards only support AGP.

I recommend you wait and upgrade the whole system because currentley AGP cards are at a premium when compared to their PCIe counterparts (due to the extra bridge chip and circuitry needed).

If you still want to upgrade ur GFX crad, as far as im aware the best, and i mean best AGP card is the Geforce 7800.
The latest ATI agp card is the X1600 Pro AGP which is a good buy for the future as its got HDMI, HDR and SM3.0, but isnt the best on performance.
In my opinion if you dont want to upgrade youre whole system, and still have a good GFX card to look at the X800 AGP or X850 agp series, specifically X800Pro or X800XL, or the Geforce 6800 AGP series (not the 6800LE though unless youre willing to take a gamble, but thats a different story).
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Postby RussTC3 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:53 pm

No reason for me to pick up a highend AGP card, as I'll probably be upgrading my entire PC within a year or two. I just need the best card for the price currently and I need one soon because my current card is about to die (fan not working).

You say the 1600pro is a good card, but not in performance. What exactly do you mean by that? As I said, I was only able to find reviews for the 1600xt, not the pro. It's like the card doesn't exist or something.

I think I'll probably end up going for the SAPPHIRE 100148L Radeon X1600PRO 256MB GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card ($125 at Newegg) or the SAPPHIRE 100158L Radeon X1600PRO 512MB GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card ($140 at Newegg). I'm assuming those are both good cards?

I just got a bit confused because they have a x1300pro for $165-20 rebate. Why would that be more expensive?
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Postby Immortal » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:04 pm

By performance i mean that an X800 will outdo an X1600 Pro... im sure i got those stats from Legits own review! ;)

With respect to pricing, that price seems around right but for petes sake make sure its the AGP variant your buying!

I would still recommend an X800Pro/XL/GTO2 instead....
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Postby RussTC3 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:15 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. One last thing if you don't mind. How is the GeForce 6800 series compared to the ATI x1600 series?
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Postby Apoptosis » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:53 pm

If you have $199 I'd lean to the GeForce 7600 GT if you want one of the latest and greatest cards.
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Postby RussTC3 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:24 pm

But aren't those PCIe only?

I only have a 4x/8x AGP slot, that's why I was looking at the ones I mentioned.

Man, there are so many freaking cards out there too. Gets a bit confusing at times.
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Postby Apoptosis » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:35 pm

ugh i'm so sorry...

For AGP yeah the X800 series would be a good choice
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Postby Immortal » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:02 am

geforce 6800 is same generation as X800 series but they have an implementation of SM3.0 so are more futureproof i think..
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Postby Reefa_Madness » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:56 pm

Apoptosis wrote:Brian just came over and picked up the X1600 Pro card a couple of hours ago so the review will be up in a little over a week. He is currently benchmarking some GeForce 7900 GT's in single and SLI for a feature article right now.

The X1600 XT is indeed a faster card than the X1600 Pro, but at a higher price tag also.

I too am very interesting in the outcome of his benchmarking as the X1600 Pro cards are dropping in price and don't need a dongle to run in CrossFire. On the ASUS CrossFire Xpress 3200 board it should have an open highway in terms of bandwidth, so we will see how they scale.


Anything new on this front? Has the x1600 been tested in CF mode?

Very interested in seeing how it turned out.
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Postby Bwall » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:22 am

You should see this article tomorrow morning.
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Postby Apoptosis » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:27 am

you know what i'll be editing today... It will be up tomororw!
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Postby Bwall » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:02 am

Just wanted to give you all an update on the Sapphire X1600 Pro article.
We saw performance in a couple of tests that far exceeded expectations, basically Quake 4 results in CrossFire were over double the performance of a single card. While this is impressive it's something that, at least on paper, doesn't add up. We have contacted ATI to investigate what we are seeing and once we have a response from them we will then be able to publish the article.
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Postby Apoptosis » Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:58 pm

Looks like we have more testing to do before we publish this review. When I was editing the review those numbers looked a little too good to be true. Here is ATI's response when we contacted them over the numbers we got and graphed.

Unfortunately as much as I'd like to tell you that your performance
numbers are correct, they're not. Although Quake 4 is a good game to
show software CrossFire scaling, no app can ever gain more than 100%
(unless there are optimizations that are enabled/disabled in the
process). It's possible that AA wasn't working when you did the testing.


I'd like to say cheers to ATI for being honest when it came to our performance testing.
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Postby Reefa_Madness » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:38 pm

So you will be redoing the tests and then publish the review?

Do you have an anticipated time frame for the release of the review?
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Postby Apoptosis » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:04 am

The tests have been completed and the graphs updated... I'm editing it right now, but have some work being done on the house today so I am swamped with a ton of things ATM. It will be up today.
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