Sapphire X800 GTO Ultimate
The Sapphire X800 GTO is a very impressive card for the money. The performance on offer is extremely compelling for anyone happy running resolutions of 1024×768 and in some cases you can get away with far higher. This is one of the most impressive low end cards I?ve ever tested and the fact that these cards are based on cores which were destined for much higher performing parts means that the overclocking headroom on offer is high.
Granted, the card I reviewed here was obviously a stupendously good overclocker, but as shown on the optimum performance settings page, the results here are very similar to what you can expect from much more conservative clocks which is why I felt comfortable leaving the results in for the high clocks. You really should check that page if you skipped it.
This card does loose some points for not having VIVO, as I?m sure HTPC owners would have appreciated this. Considering the high temperatures at load though, I doubt many HTPC owners would go for this card any way. I can?t help feeling that a small silent fan on the heatsink and VIVO would have made this a truly great card worthy of a 5 star rating. Having said this, if you?re in the market for a totally silent card, this is probably the most powerful one available.
The bundle is also above average, with a CD containing demos of many games and leaving it up to you which one to install permanently, and let?s not forget the 10 hours Free WOW voucher!
To sum up, Sapphire has created an excellent card here and has attempted to differentiate itself form the crowd by making one of the most powerful passively cooled cards on the market. They also have X800 GTO models to suit every one so if this one isn?t for you, do check out there other options. You do pay a small premium for the passive cooler on this model but to some this will be easily worth it. I?ve seen the card selling for around ?145 but it is very much worth its price.
If you?re looking for a silent graphics solution, this is the most powerful available. Adding a fan to the equation makes this one of the most efficiently cooled X800 GTO on the market. If you take the pitfalls into consideration and account for them the Sapphire X800 GTO is fantastic.