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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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    It's okay, Paul - we know how names with the first letter can get mixed up. ;)

    A few of the paragraphs are mine, but I doubt anyone would be able to pick them out. LOL. It's like "Where's Waldo": where's the paragraph written by a different editor?
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    It went up nearly 2 days ago then disappeared, and now it's finally back up. What happened?
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Technical difficulties :-)

    We worked it out though
  • overclockingoodness - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Whenever you see an article disappear like that, just know that they published it accidently. Although I must say, you guys have been having technical difficulties for quite a bit lately.

    I probably wouldn't mind if the ATI R520 article went up early due to technical difficulties. ;)
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    hehe ... If we could possibly get it done early, that might be a problem :-) But we'll be working hard and late on that one.
  • rqle - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    On the Power Consumption page, is that the WHOLE system power draw (cpu, hd, video card, ram, board) or is it just then Video card?
  • rqle - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    nvm, didnt read it clear the first way through
  • nourdmrolNMT1 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    my 9800 pro is seriously taking a beating.

    maybe this christmas ill get a whole new inside. since upgrading my gpu means upgrading my mobo too.

  • ShadowVlican - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    oh man.. these cards are supposed to cater to different price points, but now there's so many cards that it makes it even more confusing to buy... i'll stick with 6600GT because of purevideo (next pc = htpc)
  • Jep4444 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    ATIs next generation cards are supposedly one upping nVidia with Pure Video with H.264 encoding and while your at it, you may want to look into the whole Avivo thing since it seems to be up your alley(although i guess alot of it is marketing, im just referring to the concept in general)

    that aside i don't know why you recomend the X800XT to those needing to play at those settings at all completely ignoring the X800XL which at times has reached price levels below $250

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