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PowerColor X800 Pro Video Card Review

Former staff writer    -   July 14, 2004


In-Depth Look

First I'll start off with the software package, which wasn't all that much. Included in the software packaged was ATI drivers CD which usually includes outdated video drivers for the card. I always download the drivers from ATI's web site to insure that I'm using the latest drivers. You'll also receive a copy of CyberLink's DVD Suite. This is a nice suite of software, but it seems every video card these days includes this software. I bet I have five or six copies of this software lying around. Hitman Contracts was the gaming title included, which is a decent game I hear but I haven't had a chance to play it yet.



Once I opened the black box, I found the beautiful Radeon X800 Pro. When I first took it out of the box, I noticed that the card was very light weight compared to my Radeon 9800 XT. After inspecting the card you can easily see that the copper heatsink on the Radeon X800 Pro is much smaller than the Radeon 9800 XT.

Will this hinder the overclocking potential or cause heating problems in general? I would expect this not to be the case because the Radeon 9800 XT was right at the end of the ropes for the RV350 architecture (or RV360 is what the XT was called) and it needed all of the cooling it could get to be stable at the high clock speeds. The printed circuit board (PCB) is much less crowded on the X800 Pro than on the 9800XT. This goes to show how technology has improved over the last year or so.

From picture above you will see the two cards side-by-side. You'll notice that some capacitors have been moved around on the X800 Pro from where they were at on the 9800 XT. You'll also see that a lot of things have been removed from the PCB all together. On the back of the two cards it's much less obivous that anything has changed. The back copper plate on the Radeon 9800 XT covers the memory but on the X800 Pro there is no backplate. This is one of the reasons why the X800 Pro is lighter in weight.

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The X800 Pro supports 12 pixel pipelines, has a 475MHz core and a 900MHz memory clock speed. This really doesn't sound all that impressive when you look at the Radeon 9800 XT specs. The Radeon 9800 XT has a core clock speed of 412MHz and a memory clock of 730MHz. You do have to remember that the Radeon X800 Pro has GDDR3 memory and the Radeon 9800 XT does not. Once I got the copper heatsink off and thermal paste off the graphics processing unit (GPU) I could easily see the core of this card. If you can not read it from the picture, the core reads the following:
215RAACGA11F
GC0026.1
D422AA
Taiwan



There are a total of eight memory chips on the board, four on the front of the card and four on the back. The Samsung K4J55323Qf-GC20 GDDR3 memory used on the board is rated at 2ns and capable of 500MHz.



You have all of the connectors normally found on a Radeon based card which includes: VGA, Composite, and DVD-I (for LCD's). You could use the included DVI-i-to-VGA adapter and you would then be able to run dual VGA monitors for added desktop space or for gaming.



  1. Introduction & What's Included
  2. In-Depth Look
  3. Test Suite & Setup
  4. Benchmark: 3DC
  5. Benchmark: Far Cry
  6. Benchmark: X2
  7. Benchmark: Battlefield Vietnam
  8. Benchmark: Gunmetal
  9. Benchmark: Splinter Cell
  10. Benchmark: 3DMark03
  11. Image Quality & Temperature Test
  12. Overclocking & Conclusion
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