PowerColor X800 Pro Video Card ReviewFormer staff writer - July 14, 2004
OverclockingOverclocking on our card was pretty much non-existent. I was only able to achieve an overclocking a few MHz faster than the Overdrive feature overclocks the card at. I think this is partly because of the small power supply unit that is installed in this Shuttle SFF PC. I currently have a DVD-RW and two hard drives (one of which is a 10,000 rpm sata drive) installed in this Shuttle. While not overclocking the CPU nor the GPU the 12v rail reads 11.61 and the 5v rail reads 4.08. Obviously, this is not very good at all and is certainty not optimal for overclocking. I will be adding a second power supply to supply power directly to the hard drives and to the video card, to see if that makes any difference. However, because I was pressed for time when writing this review I will have to update the review at a later time with my results.
ConclusionIs the Radeon X800 Pro worth upgrading to right now? Probably not. What about when Doom 3, Half-life 2, and Tribes Vengeance hits store shelves? You better believe you'll need this card! If you're the kind of person that wants all of the eye candy that you can get out of a game, then you're going to need a beefy video card and that's just what the Powercolor X800 Pro is! It's a very expensive video card but it is over $100 cheaper than it's bigger brother, the Radeon X800 XT. If you bought Radeon X800 Pro VIVO (Not the card that we reviewed here), you always have the option to mod it in to an XT card which will cost you nothing but a little bit of time to do. Just be warned that this WILL void your warranty and even though ATI says the mod works they did say that it will severely hinder the lifespan of the video card.
If you have the money to burn, then I would probably throw another hundred bucks in and get the XT version that supports 16 pipelines and has the faster clock speeds. The Limited Edition Powercolor Radeon X800 XT comes with the backpack, CS: Condition Zero, Hitman: Contracts, and also a free coupon for Half-Life 2! The extras alone are probably worth nearly $200 bucks.
The new 3DC compression is a nice added feature, whether or not game developers will take advantage of it is a different story. The packaging that Powercolor used was top notch! It is a "special edition" version, so if you are looking to buy this Powercolor Radeon X800 Pro and want the cool bag, be sure to read the description to insure that you are getting the special limited edition version. While we have seen some better software packages, at least the software that was included was not demo's. The bottom line is that this is an expensive video card that's worth upgrading to if you have a Radeon 9800 or slower card, run 1280x1024 or high resolution, and want all of the eye candy. I highly recommend the Powercolor Radeon X800 Pro if you're wanting every ounce of performance that you can get out of your gaming experience.
- Outstanding Performance
- 3DC Compression Technology
- Less heat generated
- Excellent Packaging