After the late development and instant obsolescence of Sapphire’s original dual X1950 Pro graphics card, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the dual GPU idea had quickly died a quiet death. However Sapphire has stuck to its guns and surprised us all by announcing a dual HD 2600 XT even before single card 2600 XTs are available.
While we weren’t shown a working demo we were reassured that this was merely due to lack of production on the actual GPU chips. And, when these are available towards the latter part of this month the dual card will be ready to roll.
As well as incorporating the new GPU, Sapphire has also updated the card’s cooler so it now has an all copper heatsink and uses two smaller 80mm fans rather than the single 92mm fan, used on the previous version. Connectivity has also been improved by replacing the dual DVI and dual VGA connectors with four DVI ports, so you can now connect four digital displays to the one card.
We were also told that, depending upon development of drivers with AMD, two of these cards would be able to run in Crossfire, giving you another upgrade option. The time frame for release of these drivers was no more specific than before the end of the year, though, so don’t get your hopes up too much. Of course, you could just use two of these cards without Crossfire, giving you a mind-boggling eight-monitor setup!
As we weren’t shown a working sample, we can’t vouch for the cards performance, heat, power consumption, noise, etc. However, on the surface the card has a great deal of potential and we certainly look forward to putting it through its paces.