Sapphire HD 2900 XT Video CardFormer staff writer - May 14, 2007
The Sapphire HD 2900 XT, being the next generation of ATI based video cards is, nor claims to be, an nVidia 8800 GTX or Ultra killer. This card is made to perform in a comparable manner, but at a price that almost anyone can afford. Just shy of $400 dollars U.S., it is less expensive than the 8800 GTX and should improve in performance as the new catalyst drivers’ progress. The Sapphire HD 2900 XT did very well against competitor which it outscored in 12 of 23 benchmarks, as resolutions increased the HD 2900 XT performance stabilized losing less frames per second than the 8800 GTS. Even though the 8800 GTS is only a 320 MB video card, it is also an overclocked edition being the XXX with a 1.8 GHz clock. Could I have run the 8800 GTS 640mb card against it? Yes but I chose not to the reasoning behind it was simple, I did not receive an 8800 GTS 640mb in time to conduct a comparison. The Sapphire HD 2900 XT is just a “Plain Jane" version with no extra features added. So comparably, it can only get better. Are you looking for a video card that will last more than a year? Do you want performance but not at a price that will break the bank? Then I suggest looking at the Sapphire HD 2900 XT. With its HDMI capabilities and ability to play all of today’s games, maybe that media center you were looking to build isn’t as out of reach as you may think. The 8800 GTS is not HDMI so if you choose to use it in you media case you will not have the HDMI capabilities of the HD 2900 XT. Scrolling through forums and reading many posts it seems that the consensus is that the R600 will be a "flop". I'll be the first to say I have favored nVidia for a long time but I am impressed with the Sapphire HD 2900 XT. AMD/ATI has never claimed this will be the send all and say all to the video card wars, it is just a DirectX 10 video card that will perform. Did it perform? You have seen the benchmarks, run them yourself and you'll get the same results. This card does what it is suppose to, It's a DirectX 10 video card with HD capabilities and it an alternative to the 8800 GTS.
There may be speculation that this review appears to be biased, but negative comments are only usually made by people who are either members of other websites, or they themselves have biased opinions on the product. My job is to inform the public of how a video card performs; the benchmarks and resolutions used were conducted at specifications almost everyone can achieve. Yes, it’s nice to see how well a video card performs at 2560x1600, but does the every-day user have those capabilities? No, nor do most enthusiasts. At overclockersclub.com we are realistic and conduct our tests in environments that all can appreciate.
A final note: this card can be overclocked, but the reasoning behind not overclocking the card, was due to Overclockersclub not receiving the 8 pin cable for the power input that activates the overdrive. As soon as the cable is received, we will revise this test review.
- DirectX 10
- 512 BIT memory interface
- Great looking packaging
- Cross Fire
- Drivers are still very new
- The fan is quite loud at times