ATI Radeon X1900 review: ATI Radeon X1900

F.E.A.R. 4X antialiasing off, 8X anisotropic filtering
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280 x 960  
1,600 x1,200  
2,048 x 1536  

In CrossFire mode, however, the Radeon X1900 XTX is a hard sell. It manages to win at Half-Life 2: Lost Coast demo at the more common 1,280x1,024 and 1,600x1,200 resolutions, but as the pixel count gets to 2,048x1,536, the Radeon cards fall behind a pair of GeForce 7900 GTX cards in SLI mode. And while it still looks great, the Half-Life 2 engine is beginning to show its age. As we stated, F.E.A.R. is perhaps the best current indicator of next-gen performance, and on that test, the Radeon X1900 XTX in CrossFire mode lags behind the 7900 GTX's dramatically at both 1,280x960 and at 1,600x1,200. It closes the gap at 2,048x1,536, but success at that rarely used resolution is not enough to elevate it to common superiority.

To sum up, while the Radeon X1900 XTX will give you the fastest single card today, as well as the most feature-rich single- or dual-card configuration, neither its price nor its performance are up-to-snuff in forward-looking games. Of course, DirectX 10 and its accompanying games and hardware are right around the corner (or will come out whenever Windows Vista does), so if you want to wait six months to see what ATI and Nvidia come up with, you could hardly be blamed.

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2,048 x 1,536  

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