GeCube x1950pro AGP review
by, November 2nd, 2007 at 12:53 AM (2287 Views)
To get this started, I just received and installed my new x1950pro AGP in to replace my aging yet awesome x800pro (w/ 16pipelines unlocked and the core/memory overclocked) Think of it as an x800xtpe. Anyways to get the review!
The card in it self is huge, and I was quite surprised it even fit in my full tower case without much hassle. Luckily, the gecube model is a single slot cooler design so I did not lose any pci slots.
The first thing I noticed when I booted up the system was the fan. It is like a rather small vacuum, and is easily heard over 3x 80mm fans, 2x 120mm fans, and 70mm HS/F residing in the case. The reason? It has no thermal probe and thus, it runs at 100% all the time.
However, with the fan running full speed and the beefy all copper HS/f that spans almost the whole length of the card and covers the back piece as well, the cooling is good. So for overclockers that don't mind the noise, this is about the best you can get with stock cooling for the price. ($115 after $35 MIR from newegg.com. Other x1950pro agp's go for $170+)
On average in comparison to my x800pro, I'd say this card gains a good 10fps across the board. You really start to feel the difference between the two cards as you pump up settings such as AA and bump up the resolution.
10 fps for 100 bucks? Doesn't sound worth it. Well it's really not. However, the x800pro had one major hold back. Lack of SM3.0 support! After being denied many a games such as Bioshock, I decided it was in my interest in to atleast get something with sm3.0. So why settle for a card worse/equal in performance and save a bucks when I can future proof myself with a solid midrange card.
Oblivion and the Crysis demo are where I saw the most improvements over the x800pro. With crysis, (the main reason for the upgrade) I was barely getting smooth framerates at 1024x769 low-med settings with no shadows on the x800pro. Now with the new card I am able to push medium settings with shadows and still manage to pull roughly 5-10fps higher than the x800pro at the lower settings.
Also, I noticed the overall image quality in games go up. Most likely due to the new sm3.0 in newer games plus the fact that I can now enable HDR, let alone HDR+AA at the same time.
The gecube x1950pro agp is a fair priced AGP 8x card that will allow you to play upcoming games such as crysis and ut3 with at least medium settings at decent resolutions on your aging systems. And for todays games, it pretty much blows them out of the water in comparison to what other agp cards have to offer.
While this is no 8800 series card, it is by the best AGP card available at this time, and probably will remain king as no other cards are planned to release on the now dead AGP platform.
To sum it up, I'd give this card a 9/10. Sure it's loud as a vacuum, and as big as the titanic but it's got it's perks. Mainly it's cheap price for great performance that will revive an aged agp rig. Just make sure you have a decent PSU to run it. My FSP 400w psu has more than enough juice for the card.
Specs of the system at time of review:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-53 @ 2.4ghz (stock)
2x 1gb ddr400 Kingston hyper-X pc3200 3-3-3-8
Gecube X1950pro 256mb
WD Raptor 10k rpm 74gb + Seagate 120gb 7200rpm