The trend seen in the previous testing followed through to real-life gaming. All three cards are capable of decent frame rates at this resolution, but the X1950 Pro was the clear winner. This remained true and was actually more noticeable as the resolution increased to the 1600x1200 range and beyond. Playing a demanding game at anything over 1600x1200 was cause for drops in frame rate- this is really where the X1950's CrossFire compatibility becomes useful. The card did a great job at handling the things that the typical gamer who is looking to spend $250 on a video card would be using it for.
The last aspect of the testing done was looking at image quality. This is one area that is hard to quantify, but where the card has noticeable improvements from the previous generation. The X1950 is a generation newer than the other cards we looked at and brought with it very clean graphics and nice rendering. The the card's excess of power was able to allow for a bump up in all of the image quality settings without bringing down the frame rate to an unplayable level.
Right now the X1950 Pro is the best buy in the $199-$249 price range. It offers solid performance for a price that is downright reasonable, especially given the difference between it and the video cards sold in the price level below it. There is some competition in this level, such as from the 7900 GS and even the 7900 GT, but given the performance and features the X1950 Pro brings to the table, it is going to be the right choice for most people. The card's Crossfire compatibility means it can operate in a dual card setup, but this card is really going to be the best for demanding gamers who are on a budget and want a lot of card for the money. This may change as Nvidia prices start to drop, but for the time being, this is a great pick.
- Very high value
- Great cooling
- Large PCB
- Power connector is poorly placed