Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
The common perceptions of liquid cooling are that it’s quiet and that it increases the headroom available for overclocking. The common fear of liquid cooling is that the slightest mistake—failing to tighten a hose clamp, for instance, or incorrectly torquing a water block—can lead to disaster.
Sapphire’s Toxic X1900 XTX delivers the perceived benefits of liquid cooling while greatly diminishing risk to the do-it-yourselfer: Sapphire preinstalled what looks like a custom version of ThermalTake’s Tide Water cooler. And then went two steps further by factory-overclocking the GPU to 675MHz and the memory to 800MHz (from ATI’s reference-design speeds of 650- and 775MHz, respectively).
After unlocking the card and running ATI’s Overdrive utility, we were further impressed to see the X1900 XTX’s clock speed jump to 689MHz (memory inched up just 1MHz). GPU temps, meanwhile, topped out at 78 C with the two-speed fan running on high, and 81 C with it on low. (Because the fan is a trifle noisy at high speed, we recommend using low speed if your environment permits.)
Although the cooling apparatus doesn’t draw power from the PCI bus, the reservoir is designed to reside in one of those slots. This didn’t prevent us from running an X-Fi soundcard—and we were able to fit an X1900 XT CrossFire Edition in there, too—but it left no room in our Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard for any other expansion cards.
Month Reviewed: November 2006
+ WHITE WATER: Cool and quiet; impressive clock speeds.
- EFFLUENT: Expensive; slower than 7950 GX2 cards.