PowerColor Radeon X800 GT Review


Radeon X800 GT is the latest graphics chip released by ATI and it is targeted to the mid-range market, i.e., for people that can’t afford a high-end video card but can’t play with a low-end one. Usually mid-range video cards offer the best cost/benefit ratio, since they are not so expensive and they offer a good performance for the average user.

This new chip officially runs at 475 MHz, the same clock speed of Radeon X800 Pro, but it is capable of processing only eight pixels per clock cycle (the same amount as Radeon X800 SE), while Radeon X800 Pro can process up to 12 and Radeon X800 XT can process up to 16.

You have to pay a lot of attention to the memory configuration of video cards based on this chip. There are boards based on Radeon X800 GT using DDR, DDR2 and GDDR3 memories running at different speeds. We’ve seen GDDR3 models running at 980 MHz and DDR models running at 700 MHz. Also, we’ve seen video cards based on Radeon X800 GT accessing video memory at 128 bits and at 256 bits. Of course the 256-bit models will performance a lot better.

The model we reviewed from PowerColor accessed memory at 256 bits and 980 MHz, used GDDR3 chips and had a memory transfer rate of 31.36 GB/s

You can see in our tutorial “ATI Chips Comparison table” the difference between this new chip and the other chips from ATI, while on our tutorial “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” you can compare it to its competitors from NVIDIA. It is very important to keep in mind that NVIDIA chips from series 6 and 7 use a Shader 3.0 engine (DirectX 9.0c), while ATI chips still use Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0).

It is always important to remember that the “memory clock” column from these tables informs the chip manufacturer (ATI or NVIDIA) recommended clock. In some cases, specially on cheaper video cards, the card manufacturer uses simpler memory chips (in order to cut the board price) and lower memory clocks (compatible with the memory chip used), making the board to achieve a lower performance compared to boards that use the same graphics chip but with their memory chips running at the chip manufacturer recommended clock. Because of that, we always run PowerStrip software in order to check if the video card memory is running at the standard clock set by the chip manufacturer or running at a lower clock rate.

The reviewed Radeon X800 GT model from PowerColor runs at 472 MHz for the chip and 986 MHz for the memory.

This video card is targeted to the PCI Express bus, so in our review we will compare it only to other PCI Express video cards.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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