Mid-range graphics cards are becoming more and more abundant on today's market from both NVIDIA and ATI. The market has become a little bit congested with cards like the X800 GT, X800, X800 XL, and four flavors of the scarce X1600. Many might want to read about hardware on the high-end, but what most people are actually buying is in the mid-range. And thus, we are taking a look at one of the best mid-range cards around. With all the clutter and options out there, it can be hard to figure out what to buy. Nevertheless, those who subscribe to the "more-is-better" philosophy will appreciate yet another mid-range graphics card from ATI called the Radeon X800 GTO.

We aren't exactly sure why there has been such a volley of mid-range cards between NVIDIA and ATI lately, but it could be an attempt by ATI to at least gain some kind of foothold on the mid-range graphics front (given their struggle to keep up on the high-end this past year) to assure decent sales for the holidays.

But all speculation aside, quality graphics cards at value prices are a good thing, no matter how you look at it, and luckily, the X800 GTO looks to offer good performance and prices. ATI fans won't be disappointed with this card at all, and gamers in general will want to consider this when looking to upgrade.

For this review, we'll take a look at four different variations of the X800 GTO, two of which are by Sapphire, and all interestingly different from each other. The first is the Sapphire X800 GTO Ultimate, which is a silent version of the GTO; the second, the Sapphire X800 GTO2 (pronounced GTO "squared"), a limited edition part that has received a lot of attention due to its alleged overclocking abilities. The third and fourth cards that we'll look at are the Connect3D X800 GTO and the PowerColor X800 GTO 16. All of these cards are excellent graphics solutions, but most of them have features that set them distinctly apart from the eachother.

The GTO has been out a little while now and we've been interested in taking a look at some of them. We can assure you that they are pretty decent, but we'll let you know just how good these cards really are considering the performance and cost. Value is what it's about and we will be looking at how each of these four GTOs stack up against each other and some other graphics cards as well. As usual, we will be doing extensive performance tests, as well as overclocking and power consumption tests to see what these cards are capable of.

Now without further ado, let's look at the cards.

Sapphire X800 GTO Ultimate
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  • Zax - Saturday, December 31, 2005 - link

    I have a Fireblade edition mentioned, it TOTALLY smokes the others in overclocking!!
    The Fireblade edition should have been reviewed...NOT to ultimate version..
  • crusadersrealm - Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - link

    Why bother writing a review if you aren't going to do the proper investigation. The GTO2 uses the same chip (R480) as the X850XT PE . A simple bios update enables the other 4 pipes....he calls it too risky though "technically" possibe. I guess the quality of the reviews at this site have gone to the pits.
  • Sanctusx2 - Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - link


  • Jimmdean - Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - link

    Personally, I feel the real strength of the x800GTO is its availability in AGP form.

    Since I'm still using AGP, the 6800GS isn't an option.

    My Sapphire X800GTO AGP is highly overclockable, and definately the best card value I've ever gotten...
  • Jimmdean - Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - link

    Well, looks like now there is 6800GS in AGP, my bad...
  • Avalon - Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - link

    My only problem is that they specifically mentioned unlocking in the article. It wasn't even just a single sentence afterthought, either, but it was several blurbs. Why mention it if you aren't going to try it?

    Did Anand mention the pencil mod for the DFI Ultra-D but not follow through? No! He pulled the HSF off the northbridge of his board and went and modded it, then reported it to us fellow users. That's the stuff I like to see.

    BIOS flashing is hardly more dangerous than overclocking as to justify doing one but not the other.
  • Brian23 - Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - link

    I have the X800 GTO2. It's a sweet card. It unlocked just fine to 16 pipelines, and it overclocks to similar speeds as a X850 XT PE. I didn't even need to replace the stock heatsink on it.
  • Wesleyrpg - Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - link

    Whats happened to Anandtech of late?

    Firstly the review is about 4 months too late! Then we get this guff about that bios modding/unlocking pipelines on your card is unsafe! Who cares! We come to this site to read about what happens when you mod and the performance increases/risks, not to read some lecture about how dangerous bios modding is!

    So its safe for you guys to 'overclock' the cards, but it's not ok to mod the bios to unlock pipes? In my view, both are equally dangerous, it must of come down to sheer lazyness on your reviewers part!

    C'mon guys, pull your finger out...
  • Beenthere - Monday, December 26, 2005 - link

    The review was for folks looking for mid-level graphics cards to plug and play. Sure some folks want to overclock everything, but most PC users aren't willing to risk damage to their hardware with long term overclocking. And spare me the dribble about O/C'ing being 100% safe as I've done it for years. The reality is if there were zero risk in overclocking, then all hardware would be clocked to the max.

    Besides the really important part of any Mobo, video card or PSU review is how cool the box is that the hardware comes in. Ya gotta give these hardware mfgs. credit, they know the hormone crazed kids will get off on the cyborg bimbos on the front of the box, the pretty colors on the box, and the all important heatsink shape and fan color. How the product actually performs ain't all that important as long as makes the hormones flow...

    Ya gotta Luv it !!!
  • BenSkywalker - Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - link

    "The review was for folks looking for mid-level graphics cards to plug and play."

    6800GS out of the box, under $200 at NewEgg right now and smacks any board in this review silly. No matter how you look at it, this review was lacking giving the most credit possible to it. Flat out misleading is closer to what it appears.

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