Powercolor X1900 GT Video Card Review

Videocards/VGA Reviews by jmke @ 2006-08-06

The Powercolor X1900 GT is a contender for best price/performance graphics card, the biggest competitor of the NVIDIA 7900 GT. How do they compare, how loud is the stock cooling on the X1900 GT and is there much headroom for overclocking? Find out in this review.

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The Card, Test Setup and Benchmarks Overview

The Powercolor X1900 GT up close

The X1900 GT differs visually from the XT and XTX by having a single slot cooling instead of the 2 slot behemoth on the higher end models. The PCB looks quite similar and without the heatsink installed you?d have a hard time differentiating one from the other.

Madshrimps (c)

The heatsink is made from aluminium with a copper insert for the GPU core, it?s held in place by an X-form back plate and screws through the PCB.

Madshrimps (c)

The zoomed in area at the top right in the photo above shows 2 jumpers which are found on the back of the X1900 GT, ones allows you to select PAL/NTSC video out, the other enables/disables the VIVO function of the card. Not quite too exiting but good to know nonetheless in case you thought you found a secret ?boost performance? jumper, which is sadly not the case ;-)

Test Setup

JMke's Test Setup
CPU Opteron 144 @ 2.25Ghz
Cooling Scythe Mine with stock fan @ 12v
Mainboard Asus A8N SLI Premium
Memory 2 * 512Mb PC3200 OCZ
  • Antec Lanboy with 2x80mm fans
  • GlobalWin 520W Silent PSU
  • Maxtor 200GB IDE HDD

  • nVIDIA Drive used: ForceWare 84.21
  • ATI Catalyst 6.6
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Room temperature was 27?C during testing
  • Ambient noise (without VGA card ? system only) at ~37.5dBA

    Test Methodology and Benchmarks

    Our last group test consisted of mid range to low range VGA cards, which meant that higher resolutions resulted in unplayable frame rates with most of the newer games. The X1900 GT is not considered to be mid range and its performance is a noticeable step up allowing higher resolutions and details in modern games.

    1280x1024 and 1600x1200 with anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled becomes possible even with the most taxing games, and this with a VGA which is closer by a ?250 price tag than a ?500 one. This is encouraging as the trend the last years for being able to play the latest games at high detail involved ?500+ graphic cards.

    We used the following games for our game play evaluation:

  • Call of Duty 2 (Levels Breakout / Bergstein)
  • Prey (Demo level)
  • F.E.A.R. (in-game performance test)
  • Oblivion (Outdoors / City)

    For most games we choose to do manual run-throughs using FRAPS to record minimum and maximum FPS. In game detail settings were turned up to see if we could get playable frame rates at high detail with the X1900 GT.

    For comparison a Club 3D 7900GT (running at NVIDIA reference speeds) and a Connect3D X1900 XTX were included.

    Let?s start off with Call of Duty 2 ->
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