The Card, Specs and Test

Our Radeon X800 GT happens to be made by PowerColor, and looks about the same as other X800's with the exception of the sticker on the heatsink. As we've mentioned in the past, however, it's not the looks, but the performance that makes a good part. Let's talk about the card specifications.

The X800 GT is kind of the compromise between the high end of ATI's X700 and low end of their X800 series. Specifically, it has the same number of pixel pipelines as the X700, but it has the memory bandwidth of the X800 Pro. We find this to be an interesting approach to bridging the gap between the X700 and X800, and are curious to see what kinds of performance we see. Here is a table comparing a few of the parts that we'll be testing.

 Card Comparison
 -  Pixel Pipelines  Vertex Pipelines  Core Clock  Memory Clock  Price
Radeon X800 GT: 8 6 470MHz 495MHz $160
Radeon X800: 12 6 390MHz 350MHz $200
GeForce 6600 GT: 8 3 500MHz 500MHz $160

We will also be testing the GeForce 6800 ($200) and the Radeon X800 XT ($325) to give us a better performance comparison. We chose these cards to test based on their relative closeness in price and performance. The Radeon X800 XT is an exception with its higher price, and it is included here for reference. The X800 XT will obviously dominate here in framerate except in tests which are severely CPU-limited (i.e. Unreal Tournament), as it represents much higher performance in graphics cards.

Note that the X800 GT, X800, 6800, and X800 XT all have a 256 bit memory bus, while the 6600 GT only has a 128 bit memory bus. This will theoretically give the X800 GT an edge over the 6600 GT in tests with higher resolutions and anti-aliasing enabled. Conversely, the X800 GT can't process as many pixels per clock due to its slower core clock (and lack of certain features like SM3.0), so games that require more processing power should do worse on the X800 GT than on the 6600 GT. This means that they basically compromise by giving us more of one thing and less of another in order to compete with the 6600 GT.

Here is the system configuration that we used in our tests:

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 Processor
2x512MB OCZ 2-2-2-6 1T DDR400 RAM
Seagate 7200.7 120 GB Hard Drive
OCZ 600 W PowerStream Power Supply

Index Battlefield 2 Performance
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  • bupkus - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    What would be a good minimum fps for UT2004?
  • tuteja1986 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    I saw the X800GTO selling at $280AUD which is cheap since 6600GT sell arround $250 - $300AUD in australia. Anyways I read the X800GTO review ""> i thought X800GTO was great for its price in australia anyways. Anyways if i do upgrade in end of this year it would either X1600XT or 7600GT when ever they come out.
  • AtaStrumf - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Man, you guys sure take your time (probably all those useless 7800 GTX reviews took their toll). At least you could have included the X800 GTO (and 9800 Pro for reference - same spec old tech), but that said it is one of the better GPU reviews lately. Just one gripe. You shold have made it VERY CLEAR that 128 MB X800 GT is much slower frequency wise than the 256 MB one.

    I must say I'm more than a bit dissappointed in X800 GT. It sure looked better on paper. 6600 GT still seems to be the better card overall (1280x1024 no AA -- which is what the great majory uses)

    Here's hoping that the X1600 brings something better.
  • arturnow - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    ATi respond to GeForce 6600GT after one year. Congratulation !!!
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    For $200 , FTW...
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    we're waiting for one ... but you might end up looking in another direction before we get to it.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    "several titles coming out in the near future that will use the same engine. Quake 4 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars"

    Of which are terrible examples, thats one way to not get on doom 3 side. lol

    Case in point download the multiplayer video of Quake will laugh so much you wonder if its still quake 2 engine. It does not even look changed from last quake
  • Pete - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    One note, I think you listed the effective rather than actual RAM speed for the 6600GT in the table on p.2.
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    first, josh wrote this one (though jarred did some editing)

    second, I just fixed the problem -- you were correct.
  • Pete - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Josh! I meant Josh! :)

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