Introduction

We can still only imagine what's going on over at ATI right now, given how far behind they are in the running for highest-performance graphics card technology. Repeated delays can seriously impact morale, but we sincerely hope (and are willing to bet) that their attitude is one of hopeful optimism. In our experience, ATI has had its share of problems with buggy drivers and frustrating interfaces, more so than NVIDIA we'd say, but they have remained competitive and have consistently provided consumers with quality parts. Periodic hiccups are expected in this industry, and what's important is that, overall, their parts get the job done in terms of providing exceptional graphics and performance for PC gamers.

We know that ATI hasn't given up yet, as there have been various small releases and updates lately. For example, the Crossfire dual card setup that we have is showing promise, as we've just given it an in-depth look. Today, we look at the latest example of their continuation to fight for market share. The fact of the matter is that the budget and mid-range cards sell in far larger quantities than the high end parts, and ATI has released several GPUs recently for this segment. ATI is trying to take care of its budget and mid-price card owners, of which we whole-heartedly approve. Their recent HyperMemory driver update targeted the budget users, and now, we have a new card called the Radeon X800 GT.

We'll be looking closely at this new graphics card from ATI to see how it stands among other similarly priced cards, particularly NVIDIA's 6600 GT and 6800 "vanilla". The X800 GT appears to be ATI's attempt to regain the performance crown in the mid-range segment, as the X700 Pro fell a bit short. Our tests will give us the cold, hard facts about how well this card performs, and perhaps more importantly, how the price will play a significant role in determining the actual value.

The specifications alone suggest that ATI's Radeon X800 GT will be at least a good solution for mid-range gaming performance. This new card also has some interesting architecture/design changes that we'll get to shortly, and we're determined to test it to the fullest. Not only will we be looking at how the card performs in a plethora of games, but we'll also be looking at power consumption as well. Now, we bring you the Radeon X800 GT.

The Card, Specs and Test
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  • Leper Messiah - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Hm. ATi is really sucking recently. My 9800pro gets some better results than that thing...the performance should be much better than a 6600gt, I mean only 30MHz less clock, more vertex shaders, 256-bit memory bus, etc...drivers? I dunno.

    Kinda funny to the 6800nu getting last though.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    quote:

    For the majority of us who aren't able to go right out and pick up the most powerful card available for upwards of $400, finding the best option for your price range can be frustrating.


    BS! I mean maybe if you purposely ignore the 6800GT and X800XL that sell for around $250, sure you could pretend there's a reason to be frustrated and stuck between getting a $400 power card or a 9800Pro, but the reality is quite different.

    This card is clearly pointless and a year or two late at this price point. (And if it were released a year ago, you know it would have cost a lot more, meaning it would have been equally pointless then as well.)
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Would anyone honestly spend $160 on a brand new GPU that can't even push beyond 20-30fps in most modern games? What the heck's the point?? Spend $80 more and get an X800XL and at least be able to PLAY the games instead of slideshow them.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the fps listed in Anandtech tests the PEAK fps and not the average fps? If so that means there's a good chance everytime there's any real action on screen your fps are dipping down to the teens or single digits. Yeah, that's worth paying $160 for. @___@
    Reply
  • jkostans - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    The X800GT is actually a very capable gaming card. I just built a system with one and it ran everything i threw at it very nicely. Not much of a difference between this system and the last one i built with an x800xl. Definately not a slideshow on any game (doom3, farcry, f.e.a.r, hl2, all ran smooth). Reply
  • wharris1 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    I realize that the release of the x1600/R530 won't be until December, but I was wondering what the chance of it being released in AGP form would be, and if so, how delayed that version would be. Are any of the next gen cards (7800/7600?, x1800/x1600) going to be released as AGP at any time. If not, I'll bite the bullet and get either a x800 XL or GTO; if they will have AGP versions of the newer cards, I'll probably wait until they come out Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    I am sorry I must have missed it where are the memory configurations of the cards you tested.

    Assuming you used the PCI-E versions of all cards due to motherboard choice.

    X800 Vanilla = 128MB or 256MB???
    X800 GT = 256MB???
    6800 PCI-E = 325/300,600MHZ Effective & 256MB???
    6600 GT this is obvious at least, 128MB.

    Reply
  • OrSin - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Can we get a benchmark for non-FPS. And don't say EQ2 because thats pretty close to one in terms of play style. We all don't play FPS, can we get a RTS or even RPG in the benchmarks. I can understand now using them in all test, but for the mid and low range cards that what people are playing more then Doom 3. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Hear, hear. They should if necessary to save time dump one or two of the FPS games and replace them with an RTS, a driving game, and a flight/space-sim in order to provide true variety. Reply
  • jkostans - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    I think this is the first review I've seen where the the 6600GT was the better overall card. Every other review has them neck and neck in most games, with a few victories going to the x800gt and doom3 going to the 6600gt. This review seems a little off... but what do I know. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Hmm, they look fairly even to me still. Each has it's own stregths and weaknesses. Reply

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