Wow, that’s a lot of copper. The new heatsink and fan unit are based on copper and heatpipe technology. It was designed in-house at ATI and does a great job of keeping the card within operating spec and, most importantly, staying quiet.
The difference between the X1900XTX and X1950XTX is night and day in terms of noise output. While it is a new heatsink it doesn’t change the fact that the X1950XTX makes a lot of heat. Thankfully much of the heat is exhausted out of the back of the case. Keep your fingers clear of the copper heatsink, it does get quite hot thanks to the heat pipe.
Despite the rumors the X1950XTX still uses the same R580 GPU core at 90nm. There are lower end 80nm parts on the way from ATI but we will talk more about those in one of the many upcoming articles.
Here is a shot of the card sans heatsink. As you can see many of the PCB components are the same with everything being cooled by a copper heatsink.
The new GDDR4 memory is from Samsung and the official ATI operating speed is 2GHz. ATI is using the K4U52324QE-BC09 model which according to Samsung is rated at 1.1GHz (2.2GHz data rate), so it looks like there is a fair bit of room for overclocking if ATI hasn’t gotten aggressive with the timings. While there are faster specifications for GDDR4 it was likely decided that the extra 100-200MHz was not worth the extra cost. It’s also more likely the RAM chips chosen would be in greater supply as these have only been in production for 2 months. It will be interesting to see if some board partners will choose to spend a bit more and go for the faster DRAM modules in Samsung’s arsenal.
No changes with the connectors of the card, we see that the X1950XTX still offers two dual-link DVI ports and an S-Video style connector to handle video in & out functions.