ATI Radeon X1800 XT Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 5, 2005


Introduction

Radeon X1800 XT, formerly known as R520, is the new high-end chip from ATI, directly competing with GeForce 7800 GTX from NVIDIA. We’ve got a reference sample for this model from ATI, so we will compare its performance to other members of the Radeon X1000 series, to previous ATI chips and also with competing products from NVIDIA. But don’t get too excited: video cards based on Radeon X1800 XT will only reach the market in one month from now.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 1: Radeon X1800 XT reference board.

We’ve posted a complete article explaining what’s new on Radeon X1000 series, so we won’t be repeating here everything we have already explained there. The big news is that all chips from this series are finally supporting Shader 3.0 model (DirectX 9.0c).

There are two chips on Radeon X1800 family: X1800 XT and X1800 XL. X1800 XT runs at 625 MHz and accesses its memory at 1.5 GHz (48 GB/s). As we mentioned, it will reach the market only on November 05th, 2005 at a suggested price of USD 499 for the 256 MB version and USD 549 for the 512 MB version. We reviewed the 512 MB reference model. X1800 XL runs at 500 MHz, accesses its memory at 1 GHz (32 GB/s) and according to ATI should arrive at the market today, at a suggested price of USD 449.

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.

You can see the Radeon X1800 XT reference board on Figures 2 and 3.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 2: ATI Radeon X1800 XT reference board.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 3: ATI Radeon X1800 XT reference board, back view.

Let’s now take a closer look at the Radeon X1800 XT reference board from ATI.

The Radeon X1800 XT Reference Board from ATI

We disassembled the video card heatsink to take a look, see Figure 4. If you pay close attention you will see that the base of the heatsink – the part that touches the graphics chip – is made of copper. The heatsink fins are also made of copper, as you can see in Figure 5. The fan blows the hot air to outside the computer case, helping a lot to decrease the PC internal temperature. But, because of this blower, besides the x16 PCI Express slot this video card uses the slot right next to it (usually a x1 PCI Express slot).

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 4: Video card with its heatsink detached.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 5: Copper fins.

This video card uses eight GDDR3 512-Mbit 1.2 ns chips from Samsung (K4J52324QC-BJ12)to give it 512 MB of video memory (512 Mbits x 8 = 512 MB). These chips can run up to 1.6 GHz. Since this video card accesses the memory at 1.5 GHz, there is very little room for memory overclocking inside the memory’s specifications. But of course you can try overclock it over its specs.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 6: 1.2 ns GDDR3 memory chip used by ATI Radeon X1800 XT reference board.

The reference board has video capture function (VIVO), using ATI Rage Theater chip.

Radeon X1800 XT
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Figure 7: ATI Rage Theater chip for video capture.

Main Specifications

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark2001 SE

3DMark2001 SE measures video card performance simulating DirectX 8.1 games. It is very effective software for evaluating the performance from previous-generation games, programmed using DirectX 8. In this software we run six tests. We run the software in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and with no frame buffer, then we put the antialising at 4 samples and the frame buffer at triple-buffering. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

You may be asking yourself why we added an old program in a review of a latest generation  video card. To us, it is as important to know the performance of a video card with the latest games as it is to know its performance in an older game. That’s why we kept this software in our methodology.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.99% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX,  5.79% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 8.00% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 8.02% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 10.22% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 11.98% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 13.25% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 14.43% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 22.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 27.12% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 31.29% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 57.28% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 60.85% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 81.20% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.69% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 4.90% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.42% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 8.08% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 14.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 14.13% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 16.33% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 23.72% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 32.21% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 33.82% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 36.05% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 84.50% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 86.61% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 122.11% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.12% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 5.26% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.75% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 8.68% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 10.18% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 19.08% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 21.19% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 28.96% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 36.81% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 38.02% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 45.95% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 56.86% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 120.62% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 145.86% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 197.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.85% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.65% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 8.20% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 13.35% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 19.13% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 20.92% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 23.46% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 26.66% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 32.00% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 34.50% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 52.42% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 113.86% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 132.78% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 153.14% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.92% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 7.35% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 10.89% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 13.05% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 18.72% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 28.03% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 31.39% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 39.91% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 41.74% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 42.80% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 56.54% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 84.55% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 179.88% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 219.95% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 236.30% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 10.99% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 11.58% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 15.50% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 17.76% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 25.47% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 48.61% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 52.93% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 66.47% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 69.72% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 91.33% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 114.62% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 173.26% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 408.43% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 464.43% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 594.17% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

3DMark03

3DMark03 measures performance by simulating games written to DirectX 9, which are contemporary games. We run this program in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and anisotropic filtering, and then configuring antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering also at 4x. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.18% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 13.60% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 18.92% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 22.29% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 39.28% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 46.56% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 67.14% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 71.13% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 84.05% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 94.03% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 114.27% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 222.49% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 278.66% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 350.72% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.22% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.59% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 18.62% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 22.25% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 26.48% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 47.63% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 55.98% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 85.32% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 87.89% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 93.40% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 115.94% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 143.79% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 268.71% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 336.29% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 420.34% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 6.16% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 9.46% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 22.97% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 27.82% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 50.49% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 59.46% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 103.04% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 105.96% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 111.47% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 131.70% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 173.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 301.46% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 404.50% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 498.27% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 6.69% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 10.68% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 17.84% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 22.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 35.53% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 58.82% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 78.62% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 120.75% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 130.67% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 134.16% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 163.08% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 222.16% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 362.11% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 458.95% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 556.45% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 12.84% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 17.03% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 24.84% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 32.29% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 44.15% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 74.98% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 101.87% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 141.53% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 158.35% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 160.43% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 255.32% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 268.79% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 504.54% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 569.87% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 646.70% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 14.08% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 19.78% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 25.39% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 26.81% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 46.58% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 83.28% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 109.74% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 177.26% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 184.76% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 187.32% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 307.98% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 328.89% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 617.04% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 906.01% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 976.61% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

3DMark05

3DMark05 measures performance by simulating DirectX 9.0c games, i.e., using the new Shader 3.0 model. This programming model is used by Far Cry game and other games to be launched in the future. This new programming model is used by GeForce 6 and 7 series from NVIDIA and Radeon X1000 series from ATI.

We run this program in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and anisotropic filtering, and then configuring antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering also at 4x. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our benchmark, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.81% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.38% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 11.61% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 13.86% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 25.99% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 44.70% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 46.82% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 59.18% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 80.87% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 90.96% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 150.24% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 151.46% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 324.57% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 403.98% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 429.08% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.08% faster than  XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 7.70% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 17.64% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 18.71% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 37.85% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 59.95% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 63.47% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 74.47% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 104.70% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 115.08% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 190.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 233.88% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 418.98% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 528.27% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 558.67% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.87% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 9.14% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 22.48% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 22.51% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 49.12% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 73.64% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 78.34% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 89.65% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 141.23% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 141.83% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 227.67% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 363.77% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 520.97% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 620.15% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 727.97% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 8.14% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 12.16% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 15.56% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 22.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 36.55% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 62.78% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 66.70% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 83.46% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 92.68% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 111.86% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 204.12% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 427.43% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 553.95% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro, 625.99% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 651.72% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Radeon X1000 Series

To run at 1280x1024 enabling image quality enhancements on 3DMark05 the video card must have at least 256 MB of memory, because of that some video cards couldn’t run this test. Here ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 11.67% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 16.47% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 22.89% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 29.50% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 49.95% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 82.75% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 83.31% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 103.44% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 140.64% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 142.86% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 250.75% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 652.18% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 939.59% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Radeon X1000 Series

To run at 1600x1200 enabling image quality enhancements on 3DMark05 the video card must have at least 256 MB of memory, because of that some video cards couldn’t run this test. Here ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 22.12% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 25.76% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 26.87% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 41.16% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 59.04% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 95.49% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 100.00% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 136.81% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 171.46% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 171.88% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 284.86% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 797.79% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 1.450.73% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Doom 3

Doom 3 is one of the heaviest games available today. As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions: 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and high. We ran demo1 four times and wrote the obtained number of frames per second. The first result we discarded at once, since it is far inferior than the other results. This happens because at the first time we run the demo the game must load all textures to video memory, fact that doesn’t happen from the second time we run the demo on. From the three results left, we consider as our official result the middle result, i.e., we discard the highest and the lowest values. Curiously almost all times the values obtained at the second round on were the same.

A very important detail that we must mention is that Doom 3 has an internal FPS lock: it is only capable of generating 60 frames per second, even if your board is able to produce more frames per second than that. This is done in order to make the game to have the same "playability" sensation independently from the video card installed on the PC. This lock, however, is disabled in the game benchmarking mode.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Doom 3, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 13.49% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 14.44% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 15.96% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 26.35% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 37.59% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 37.59% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 43.99% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 72.48% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 77.26% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 210.36% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 280.56% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, ATI Radeon X1800 XL and  XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.46% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 13.12% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 19.32% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 20.58% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 46.24% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 52.59% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 92.42% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 95.30% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 104.47% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 145.04% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 149.73% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 366.33% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 471.25% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 20.34% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 22.82% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 24.20% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 68.85% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 72.61% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 143.71% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 144.48% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 146.03% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 192.45% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 203.92% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 491.60% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 631.13% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT was beaten by XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 5.94% faster and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 4.26% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.36% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 14.00% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 16.65% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 18.83% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 34.60% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 44.18% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 45.50% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 56.23% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT.89.09% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 95.69% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 242.81% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 316.16% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 4.04% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 15.35% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 21.24% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 24.59% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 50.33% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 62.52% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 100.00% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 103.15% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 116.31% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 162.21% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 170.06% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 390.22% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 501.33% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 23.45% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 24.06% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 25.70% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 74.25% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 74.65% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 146.10% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 148.52% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 149.34% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 203.20% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 214.52% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 553.45% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 635.92% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT was beaten by XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 6.60% faster and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 5.41% faster.

Far Cry

Far Cry is a game based on the new Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model available on series 6 and 7 from NVIDIA and series X1000 from ATI graphics chips. We’ve updated the game to version 1.3.
 
As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and very high. To measure the performance we used the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH), available at http://www.3dcenter.org/downloads/farcry-pcgh-vga.php. We run this demo four times and made an arithmetical average with the results. This average is the result presented in our graphs.

This game has a very important detail in its image quality configuration. Antialising, instead of being configured by numbers (1x, 2x, 4x or 6x) is configured as low, medium or high. The problem is that on NVIDIA chips both medium and high mean 4x, while on ATI chips medium means 2x and high means 6x, making the comparison between ATI and NVIDIA chips completely unfair. Because of that we configured antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering at 8x manually at the video driver control panel.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Far Cry, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 6.20% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.79% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 7.57% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 9.34% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 11.17% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 11.29% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 17.44% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 20.40% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT and 29.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to HIS Radeon X800 GT, ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, ATI Radeon X1800 XL, ATI Radeon X1600 XT and GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked).

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 5.58% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.84% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.78% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 10.18% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 10.23% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 10.59% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 57.82% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 60.21% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 92.86% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., HIS Radeon X800 GT, GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), ATI Radeon X1800 XL, ATI Radeon X1600 XT and Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 6.25% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.67% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.85% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 10.89% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 11.49% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 16.70% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT,17.59% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 30.19% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 35.24% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 124.55% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 137.88% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 191.30% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., ATI Radeon X1800 XL and GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked).

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024x768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 9.83% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 12.14% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 36.50% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 38.96% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 59.01% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 87.08% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 99.01% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 221.84% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 273.25% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 306.51% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XT achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., ATI Radeon X1800 XL, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX and XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280x1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 3.63% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.83% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 7.54% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 10.82% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 12.21% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 45.08% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 46.09% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 88.72% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT,95.89% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 111.52% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 166.95% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 191.56% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 399.54% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 432.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 452.72% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600x1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XT was 18.71% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 21.09% faster than ATI Radeon X1800 XL, 23.72% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 32.55% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 37.31% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 83.37% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 109.62% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 155.71% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT,159.12% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 193.27% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 259.22% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 268.05% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 537.23% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 794.03% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 925.39% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

Conclusions

In our benchmark Radeon X1800 XT with 512 MB was faster than GeForce 7800 GTX with 256 MB. Period. However, our comparison has a flaw: the difference in the amount of video memory available. We will need to wait until Radeon X1800 XT reaches the market to get one 256 MB board from one of the ATI partners in order to compare apples to apples. Of course ATI is only sending 512 MB models to the media to be reviewed, so they can achieve higher scores.

What we’ve seen on both 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 is that the performance difference between Radeon X1800 XT and GeForce 7800 GTX increases when high image quality settings are enabled. Without image quality settings, Radeon X1800 XT was between 6.88% and 9.14% faster than GeForce 7800 GTX on 3DMark05 and between 3.22% and 6.16% faster on 3DMark03. When we enabled 4x anti-aliasing and 4x anisotropic filtering, the performance difference between these two cards raised to 12.16%~22.12% on 3DMark05 and 10.68%~19.78% on 3DMark03, both in favor to ATI’s new chip.

Also, the higher differences were obtained at 1600x1200, suggesting that Radeon X1800 XT is better than GeForce 7800 GTX when running on very high resolutions with very high image quality settings enabled.

We can come to this same conclusion by analyzing the results from Far Cry. While the performance difference was up to 6.25% (in favor to ATI’s new chip) in all resolutions and settings, the performance gap jumped to 23.72% at 1600x1200 enabling very high image quality settings.

Even in Doom 3, a game where NVIDIA’s advantage is notorious, Radeon X1800 XT finally could close the gap between these two companies; GeForce 7800 GTX was faster only at 1600x1200, and only by a small amount (4.26% at low quality settings and 5.41% at high quality settings). On the other resolutions both cards achieved the same performance level.

Once again, we could say that Radeon X1800 XT is really faster than GeForce 7800 GTX, but since we compared a 512 MB card with a 256 MB one, these results are not final.

Another issue is the fact that this video card will reach the market only on November 05th, 2005, so even though we already posted this review, you cannot buy it yet.

As a side note, GeForce 7800 GTX model from XFX we included in our comparisons is factory-overclocked, running at 450 MHz (instead of 430 MHz) and memory running at 1.25 GHz (instead of 1.2 GHz). The performance differences mentioned above refer to GeForce 7800 GTX model from MSI which uses default clock configurations.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/ATI-Radeon-X1800-XT-Review/228


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