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ATI Radeon X800 Pro ATI Radeon X800 Pro: We take a look at the X800 Pro, and test the performance across three different AGP platforms.
Date: January 17, 2005
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Graphics card performance has changed so much in the past couple of years that if you miss one day, you miss a product line. The top spot seems to bounce back and forth between ATI and NVIDIA, as each will release a card that just out does the other and the cycle starts all over again.

ATI have recently released their new line of cards, the Radeon X Series. Starting with the low end Radeon X300 and then progressing to the X600 and X800. The X800 utilizes the R420 GPU, based on the 130nm manufacturing process and has a 256-bit memory interface to the new DDR3 memory.

Specifications

ATI Radeon X800 Pro

GPU

Radeon X800Pro (R420)

Bus Type

AGP 4x, 8x

Memory Amount

256MB

Memory Type

GDDR3

Memory Interface

256-bit

Memory Clock Speed

450Mhz

Engine Clock Speed

475Mhz

Pipelines

12

Pixel Fillrate

5.7 Gpixels/sec

Geometry Rate

475 MTriangles

Technology Features

Smartshader HD, Smoothvision HD, Videoshader HD, Hydravision

Video Output

VGA, DVI, YPrPb, S-Video, Composite

ATI X800 Pro

The ATI Radeon X800 Pro comes in the standard red and black box from ATI. The front cover features the new figure for the X800, a very mean looking Minotaur. The rear shows some screenshots from the ATI demos, and also has a large picture of Ruby (ATI's answer to the fairy from that OTHER Company.)

Once outside of the out box, the card is held in a plan brown cardboard box. The card is held in an antistatic bag. Underneath the card are the manual/driver CD and the included accessories. ATI includes: Component video cable, S-Video cable, YPrPb adapter, and a DVI-to-VGA adapter for the secondary display. No games or applications were included in the box.

Once out of the box we get a look at ATI's cooling setup. A large fan covers the even larger blower-style heatsink. The fan blows across a series of metal fins, and then passes over the memory to provide some extra cooling. On the rear of the card you can just see the support brace for the cooling system. ATI does not include any ram sinks or additional cooling, but the advantage of their cooling solution is that it only uses one expansion slot.

The rear of the card has one DVI port and one analog video port. In between the two is the S-Video out port.

Underneath the cooler is the R420 core. The core is made using a 0.13 micron low-k fabrication process. ATI offers the R420 in two different configurations, the XT line with all 16 pipelines enabled, and the Pro with 12 pipelines enabled. Also shown below is one of the 8 memory chips on the board. ATI uses Samsung K4J55323QF GDDR3 memory chips which are rated at 500 MHz. ATI runs the memory at 450 MHz stock, so there should be some headroom available for overclocking.

Testing
Testing on the ATI X800 Pro was performed on three different configurations to show how well the card scales between different setups. Obviously our readers will have varying levels of systems, so the goal of this review is to show how well the card will run on a comparable system to yours, not how well the card compares to other video cards.

The three system configurations are as follows:
AMD 1700+ @ 12.5 x 170 (2125 Mhz)
ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe Rev 2.0
2 x 512MB Corsair TwinX PC4000
ATI Radeon X800 Pro
Seagate Barracuda 200GB SATA
Windows XP SP2
NVIDIA nForce 5.10
ATI Catalyst 4.9

AMD Athlon 64 S939 3500+ @ 11 x 200 (2200 Mhz)
MSI K8T Neo2-FIR
2 x 512MB Corsair TwinX PC4000 Pro
ATI Radeon X800 Pro
Maxtor 120GB SATA
Windows XP SP1
VIA Hyperion 4-in-1 v4.53
ATI Catalyst 4.9

Intel Pentium 4 2.4C @ 12 x 200 (2400 Mhz)
FIC Condor i865G
2 x 512MB Corsair TwinX PC4000
ATI Radeon X800 Pro
Maxtor 120GB SATA
Windows XP SP1
ATI Catalyst 4.9

Benchmarks
3DMark05
Doom 3
Far Cry
Unreal Tournament 2004

All game tests were run using Benchem'All. Three different IQ settings were used during game testing: No AA/AF, 4AA/8AF and 6AA/16AF. Unless otherwise stated, tests were run at 1280x1024 and 1600x1200, 1024x768 was dropped from the list. While not the flagship product from ATI, we feel that the X800 Pro is powerful enough that 1024x768 is just too low of a resolution.

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