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GeCube Radeon X1950 Pro FZ Cool HDCP Review

Date: 2006-11-18

[Abstract]
   IntroductionIt's being quite a while since our last sightings of thermal electric coolers. Based on a phenomenon known as the Peltier effect where electricity was used to transfer heat between ...

[Content] PCDigitalMobileGame

Introduction

It's being quite a while since our last sightings of thermal electric coolers. Based on a phenomenon known as the Peltier effect where electricity was used to transfer heat between two dissimilar metals or semi-conductors, thermal electric cooling (TEC) probably had its heyday during the period of the early Pentium processors. Its biggest advantage was that given sufficient current, a thermal electric cooler could actually cool the CPU below room temperature, which naturally drew the interest of overclockers. Also, unlike the other competing method of liquid cooling, all the necessary components were solid state and needed little maintenance, though like practically all forms of cooling, a heatsink and fan combination is still required to slog off the heat transferred.

So why don't we find more of these coolers nowadays? The most likely reason why thermal electric cooling grew out of favor was the increasing power demands of newer processors. Imagine having to use more power to cool an already power hungry processor. The Peltier effect by itself had low efficiency and these coolers could consume up to twice the amount of electricity compared to the heat energy transported. Those who went for extreme overclocking also faced problems with condensation if they went too far. Therefore, it is now quite rare to find such coolers in the mass market compared to hybrid ones using heat pipes while some overclockers have gone for the more extreme vapor phase change cooling.

Hence, it was quite a surprise to find GeCube touting thermal electric cooling for its new Radeon X1950 PRO. Christened with the lengthy name of GeCube FZ Cool Radeon X1950 PRO Champion Edition, this card comes with a giant heatsink featuring dual 80mm cooling fans, together with the Peltier elements and heat pipes. In short, it looks like a very interesting product. Here's a look at the package and its specifications:

GeCube Radeon X1950 Pro FZ Cool HDCP Review
GeCube's unique take on the Radeon X1950 PRO - the awkwardly named GeCube FZ Cool Radeon X1950 PRO Champion Edition.

GeCube FZ Cool Radeon X1950 PRO Technical Specifications
GraphicsEngine
  • ATI Radeon X1950 GPU
  • 330 milliontransistors on 80nm fabrication process
  • Core Clock: 575MHz
  • 36 pixel shaderprocessors
  • 12 pixel pipelines
  • 8 vertex shaderprocessors
  • Ring Bus MemoryController
    • 512-bit internalring bus for memory reads
    • Programmableintelligent arbitration logic
    • Fully associativetexture, color, and Z/stencil cachedesigns
    • HierarchicalZ-buffer with Early Z test
    • Lossless ZCompression (up to 48:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z/stencil cacheoptimized for real-time shadow rendering
    • Optimized forperformance at high display resolutions,including widescreen HDTV resolutions
  • Ultra-Threaded ShaderEngine
    • Support forMicrosoft?DirectX?9.0 Shader Model3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    • Full speed 128-bitfloating point processing for allshader operations
    • Up to 512simultaneous pixel threads
    • Dedicated branchexecution units for high performancedynamic branching and flow control
    • Dedicated textureaddress units for improved efficiency
    • 3Dc+ texturecompression
      • Highquality 4:1 compression for normalmaps and two-channel data formats
      • Highquality 2:1 compression for luminancemaps and single-channel data formats
    • Multiple RenderTarget (MRT) support
    • Render to vertexbuffer support
    • Complete featureset also supported in OpenGL?2.0
  • Advanced Image QualityFeatures
    • 64-bit floatingpoint HDR rendering supported throughoutthe pipeline
      • Includessupport for blending andmulti-sample anti-aliasing
    • 32-bit integer HDR(10:10:10:2) format supportedthroughout the pipeline
      • Includessupport for blending andmulti-sample anti-aliasing
    • 2x/4x/6xAnti-Aliasing modes
      • Multi-samplealgorithm with gammacorrection, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      • NewAdaptive Anti-Aliasing feature withPerformance and Quality modes
      • TemporalAnti-Aliasing mode
      • LosslessColor Compression (up to 6:1) atall resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
    • 2x/4x/8x/16xAnisotropic Filtering modes
      • Upto 128-tap texture filtering
      • Adaptivealgorithm with Performance andQuality options
    • High resolutiontexture support (up to 4k x 4k)
  • Flexibledisplay support
    • Programmablepiecewise linear gamma correction, colorcorrection, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
    • Complete,independent color controls and video overlaysfor each display
    • High quality pre-and post-scaling engines, withunderscan support for all outputs
    • Content-adaptivede-flicker filtering for interlaceddisplays
    • Xilleon?TV encoder for high quality analog output
    • YPrPb componentoutput for direct drive of HDTV displays
    • Spatial/temporaldithering enables 10-bit color qualityon 8-bit and 6-bit displays
    • Fast, glitch-freemode switching
    • VGA mode support onall outputs
    • Drive two displayssimultaneously with independentresolutions and refresh rates
GraphicsMemory
  • 256-bit 8-channelGDDR3 memory interface
  • 512MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Clock = 1400MHzDDR
RAMDAC
  • Dualintegrated dual-link DVI transmitters
    • DVI 1.0 compliant /HDMI interoperable and HDCP ready
  • Dualintegrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
I/O FaceplateConnectors
  • 2 x DVI-I connectors(HDCP Support)
  • 1 x mini-DIN connector
Drivers &Software
  • Driver support forWindows 98 / Me / 2000 / XP
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0
Other Information
  • DynamicVoltage Control
  • Atleast 450W PSU recommended
  • NativePCI Express x16 bus interface






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