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Sapphire Radeon X1800 XT 512MB

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Posted March 2, 2006 by admin in Video Cards

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Introduction

As we all know, ATI?s X1800 series was significantly delayed due to a logic gate bug, which meant the X1800 XT had a short life as ATI?s flagship card. The X1900 series came just a few months later outperforming everything in its path and obviously dethroned the X1800 XT as ATI?s high-end offering.

This is very good news for us though, as the X1800 XT has significantly dropped in price over a very short period of time. Just a few months ago this card would was priced at over ?400, but now only costs roughly ?250~?270. This is quite a bit cheaper than the 7800 GTX, and if you want to save a little money you can grab an X1800 XT 256MB for around ?230.

I already know of many who are moving from 7800 GT?s to X1800 XT?s. Essentially what I?m saying is the X1800XT is a very interesting card now, much more interesting than when it was launched.

X1800 Series Feature Set
Model Name:
Radeon X1800 XT
Nvidia 7800 GTX 256
Core:
R520
G70
Core Clock:
625 MHz
430 MHz
Memory Size:
512 MB
256 MB
Mem Clock:
1.5 GHz
1.2 GHz
Pixel Pipes:
16
24
Vertex Pipes:
8
8
Texture Units:
16
24
ROPS
16
16

Obviously the 7800 GTX has dipped in price too so it?s still the only true competing product of the 1800XT. At this late stage I don?t believe devoting significant paragraphs to the architecture is very relevant – you should all know it by now, so I?ll keep it brief.

The main difference here?is that ATI did not increase the number of pixel pipes of texture units over the X850 series. Instead they improved some core logic and essentially ramped up the clock speeds.

As the X1800XT was so late to market it become an affordable option for ATI to?supply 512MB instead of 256MB onboard, which is why you don?t see 512MB on Nvidia?s much older GTX ? I?m not including there super-clocked GTX 512 in that statement, of course. In my opinion, the smart enthusiasts out there are looking closely at the X1800XT as a real high performance bargain.

Another interesting point regarding ATI?s current cards is that they have voltage regulators onboard, that?s why there?s an additional chunky red heatsink at the back of X1800 cards, the volt regulators sit under there. So what does this mean? It means you can adjust the voltages of VGPU and memory (MVDCC) plus a few other core voltages using software such as ATI Tool. This completely eradicates warranty voiding hardware volt mods and allows for some massive overclocks. I for one applaud ATI for this.

It should be noted that this article is not so much a review against the logical choice, a 7800 GTX but more geared towards 7800 GT owners looking for more oomph without breaking the bank.

Note: if you increase voltages you should really upgrade from the stock cooler. You could do worse than the Accelero X2 from Arctic Cooling.

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