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Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB Videocard Review

Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The ATI Radeon HD 2900XT VPU core runs at 743 MHz while the 1GB of GDDR4 memory hums along at a very sweet 2 GHz! In pairs, the Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT is ATI Crossfire compatible on supporting motherboards.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Diamond Aug 22 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Diamond Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB

Radeon HD 2900XT To Give nVidia a Real Challenge

ATI is back, big time. Diamond Multimedia has made a splash with one of the hottest (literally) videocard cores in the market. Its new Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocard is one incredibly fast solution, but when you're dealing with the Radeon HD 2900XT, speed is a given. With a retail price of $520 CDN ($499 USD, £243 GBP) per videocard, the Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB is actually priced pretty aggressively for a flagship graphics solution.

The Crossfire configuration as tested in the preceding pages of this review would cost about $1040 CDN ($999 USD, £486 GBP) for the pair.

To run the Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT alone, or in a Crossfire pair you'd better have a top of the line PC system. The absolute most important component in such a PC is the power supply, because the Viper Radeon HD 2900XT draws a lot of juice.

A moderately equipped system with one videocard can expect to draw in the range of 350W at load. Add in a second videocard to run in CrossFire and you've just increased the power requirements close to 600W! Looks like there may actually be a real need for those 1kW power supplies after all.... For an enthusiast PC with a couple of Western Digital Raptor HDDs, flashy LED fans, cold cathode lights and whatever else, well, you've got yourself a system that consumes an insane amount of power.

I think its time gamers started to openly challenge videocard makers to tackle the spiraling power demands their high end products demand. What do you think?

The Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocard is based on the ATI/AMD reference design, no surprises there. You'll notice that the Radeon HD 2900XT comes packing two power connectors, a regular six pin PCI Express connector and an new eight pin version. Both have to be connected in order for the videocard to function at full speed. A selection of Crossfire compatible power supplies is listed on AMD's website; we're partial to the PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Antec brands if you need a place to start.

In terms of performance, a lone Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocard is very quick. In most games the HD 2900XT is as fast as a single nVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX. The Radeon HD 2900XT shines particularly in the game titles Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and FEAR. The DirectX 10 game Call of Juarez also sees very high framerates.

ATI/AMD seems to have a bit of a teething problem with drivers, to enable CrossFire with the Radeon HD 2900XT you may need to download a hotfix. You might also have to patch your system to enable CrossFire properly for the DirectX 10 title Lost Planet. ATi was pretty good with its Catalyst drivers, hopefully AMD will get these issues fixed quickly if they haven't already been.

On the Crossfire front, two Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocards are pretty darn fast. In the benchmarks PCSTATS conducted, these two screaming red meanies posted framerates at the top of the pack. Overclocking, particularly under Crossfire, gave real performance gains... although the power draw this incurs may make you want to think twice lest your room become a sauna. ;-)

If you have a platform that supports Crossfire, like the Intel P35 or 975x Express, running one or two of the Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocards in your system offers a real alternative to nVidia's Geforce 8800GTX graphics cards. No matter how you look at it, the future of DirectX 10 gaming has gotten much brighter with the introduction of Diamond Multimedia's Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB videocards.

PCSTATS Recommended Product Award

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Video Cards News»

 

Contents of Article: Diamond Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB
 Pg 1.  Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  Massive Heatsink and Quiet Cooling System?
 Pg 3.  ATI/AMD CrossFire Redone
 Pg 4.  The AMD Radeon HD 2900XT Core
 Pg 5.  Videocard Power Consumption Measurements
 Pg 6.  High Definition Playback Tests with AVIVO
 Pg 7.  Overclocking the Radeon HD 2900XT Videocard
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 10.  Videocard Benchmarks: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 11.  Videocard Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 12.  Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 13.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 14.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez, Lost Planet
 Pg 15.  PCSTATS Maximum Videocard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions
 Pg 16.  — Radeon HD 2900XT To Give nVidia a Real Challenge

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