This review appears in the January 2007 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

The X1600XT Ultimate is another model to sport an oversized heatsink on both sides of the card. But unlike the Gigabyte 7600GT 256MB, the Ultimate isn't entirely passively cooled – there's a discreet backup fan on the rear. We'd question the wisdom of sticking an uncovered fan on the back of the card, since it'll be facing up and ideally placed to snare loose, dangling cables. In other words, if you buy this product, make sure you keep a tidy case, and get busy with the cable ties.

The XT plays host to DVI, VGA and S-Video connectors, while the included cables allow video output. Our sample didn't come with any software other than a driver disc, although retail versions are set to feature Sapphire's select package.

Sapphire X1600XT Ultimate: Specs


As we expected, the XT had the legs on its X1600 Pro sibling, but the good news stops there. It struggled in most of our benchmarks, with frame rates reduced to single figures as the resolution increased. The X1600XT is best suited to life at or below 1,024x768. Disappointing.