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ATI Radeon X1950XTX - Part 1 - Overclocking

It's no news that overclocking has become something for the everyday-user. Many graphics card partners even sell cards that are overclocked from factory, something that has more or less become a given with some partners or even their special niche. This is mainly with Nvidia-based graphics card but X1950XTX has all the potential to create the same trend at ATI partners because there is plenty of room for overclocking. The core of X1950 has in our tests been overclocking better than X1900 and the graphics card is fitted with a better cooler. The memory is where the most can happen as 1100MHz should be foolproof from factory.

Overclocking for use in a regular PC seven days a week is good with X1950XTX, you can expect up to 700MHz core (somewhat higher rpm with the fan than default) and 1100MHz memory completely stable. When it comes to extreme overclocking uses negative Celsius the future is more uncertain. X1950XTX has just as X1900XTX a tendency to coldbug (not work at low temperatures). The temperature for the coldbug varies between -20°C to -120°C. What the real cause of this is is still to be revealed but you can move around this by modifying the voltage the hard way. We've tested ourselves and heard from others that you can't boot at colder than -40°C with X1950XTX, but when you've in Windows and all of the drivers have been loaded and the voltage is turned up you can lower the temperature further. So the coldbug itself is not a big problem as you can move around it.


Another frustrating problem is that there are not competent overclocking tools for X1950XTX. It took W1zzard, who develops the program ATItool, a very long time to make the algorithm for core and above all memory with X1900XTX. Now he has to do the same with GDDR4 as the programs ATI has to offer doesn't work as well. Therefore we have no results during extreme cold to offer. We have instead set up a goal of 16 000 points with 3DMark 05 completely air cooled with one graphics card - with one core. Graphics card with stock cooler and the processor with a Sunbeam Tunic Tower 120 (120mm 200cfm fan).

After tao days we were close, but still not there. We kept our cool and continued with spending many hours optimizing and tried to squeeze every possible MHz from the system to reach our goal. On the last hour of the third day we succeeded. It costs a bit of a head ache but it was definitely worth it to see that six after the one instead of that damn annoying five.

That's all the overclocking we have to offer in part 1. In part 2 we will overclock with Crossfire and will hopefully be able to present one or two world records.

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