With the Christmas season of 2005 approaching like a rampaging freight train, the major chip manufacturers are jumping onboard with a whole slew of enthusiast and mainstream video chipsets to fill every niche market (and stockings...) with a viable performance option. Today I will be reviewing one option that will plug directly into the price conscience mainstream portion of today's market and should do very well this season.
But first, you will have to understand what really makes the X800GT different from the rest. First off the new R480 core has only 8 pixel pipelines whereas the X800 has 12 and the X800XL and X850XT line have 16. Initially, people will see the reduction in pipelines and throw their hat in and walk away, but if you look a little harder at the actual clock rates, you will see that the X800GT core is clocked 75Mhz faster than the 12 pipeline X800XL. Although this does not offset most of the performance difference, it sure does pull the cards socks up to give it a fighting chance. Some people also may bawk that the X800 core version has a core transfer rate of 4704MTexel/s versus the X800GT's rate of 3800MTexel/s, but where the X800GT makes up the difference is by using a higher memory clock and the resulting higher memory bandwidth.
So who is this videocard targeted for? It is getting harder and harder to say really. Seems that ATI is going to try to stick as many two letter version releases at the end of the X800 line before it is rendered obsolete in the upcoming months. If you were thinking because of the GT tag that this card is an enthusiast card, you will quickly that it is indeed a low to mid-range mainstream card.
Does this mean it is a slacker?....... Oh HELLLLLL no.
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