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Crucial RADEON X850 XT 256MB PCI Express

Crucial Radeon X800 Pro
21st July 2005
Manufacured By
Supplied By


If you read our review of the rather desirable Athlon X2 4800+ dual-core CPU recently, you'll probably have noticed that the test system graphics were handled by an X850 XT graphics card from memory maestros Crucial.

Created as the retail arm of Micron, Crucial's original brief was to sell memory, something did, and still do, very successful. Like most forward-thinking companies however, Crucial realised that there were whole new business areas that they could exploit, but rather than just dive headlong into things they had no experience of, Crucial have so far been very careful to only dabble in items that are in some way associated with their core memory business. By that I mean things like Flash drives, memory card readers, Flash memory cards and, more relevantly as far as today's review is concerned, graphics cards.

If memory serves me correctly, Crucial's first dabble into the graphics arena was with the popular and very successful Radeon 9800 Pro. It must have worked for them as since then they've added several new models to their lineup, all ATi based interestingly enough.

At the very top of the Crucial graphics portfolio sits a genuine behemoth of a card, the Radeon X850 XT. Based on the R480 VPU , this chip boasts 160 million transistors and 16 pipelines , 256MB of DDR3, a 520MHz VPU and 540MHz DDR3, or in short, masses of pixel pushing power. Yes we say that with every new generation of graphics chip, but by today's standards this thing really shifts some pixel plastered polygons.

Like the X800XT and the X800XT-Platinum Edition, the X850 XT forgoes the AGP interface in favour of the superior, though so far barely used PCI Express interface. Hopefully I'm not stating the obvious by reminding you that you must be using a PCI Express motherboard in order to use this product.

As is customary, the specs:


Incredible 3-D gaming performance
PCI Express™ 16X technology with 16 parallel pixel pipeline utilization
256MB of DDR3 memory
256-bit quad-channel GDDR3 memory interface
Dual display support for simultaneous viewing on analog and high-definition digital monitors
Powerthrottling technology for cooler running temperature
Integrated SmartVision™ technology, providing high-definition gaming
Complete DirectX® 9.0 support
TV-out functionality

Box Contents

  • CD manual/driver
  • TV cable set
  • DVI-I to VGA adapter
  • S-video to RCA adapter
  • S-video to HDTV adapter
  • Power cable
  • DVD playback CD

Display support

  • CRT monitor: 15-pin VGA connector
  • S-video connector for TV output
  • 1 DVI-I and 1 analog or 2 analog (with included 15-pin VGA adapter)

Operating System Support

  • Windows® XP®
  • Windows® 2000®

System Requirement

  • A PCI Express™-based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard and one additional adjacent expansion slot available
  • Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD® K6/Duron™/Athlon® or compatible with PCIe 4X (1.5V) and 8X (0.8V)
  • 256MB of system memory; 1GB or more for improved performance
  • Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
  • 300 watt or greater power supply recommended

Sophisticated Features

  • SMARTSHADER™ HD: Users will experience complex, movie-quality effects in next-generation 3-D games and graphics.
  • VIDEOSHADER™HD: Enables seamless integration and use of pixel shaders to accelerate video processing and provide enhanced visuals.
  • SMOOTHVISION™ HD: Enhances image quality by removing jagged edges and bringing out fine texture detail without compromising performance.
  • HYPER Z™ HD: Ensures optimized hardware performance by excluding irrelevant data not visible to the end user, enabling new levels of rendering.

General Specifications

  • Powered by RADEON™ X850 XT Series VPU, driven by 16-pipe rendering architecture
  • Full support for DirectX® 9.0 and the latest OpenGL® functionality 256-bit DDR memory interface, featuring HYPER Z™ HD bandwidth-conserving technology
  • 256MB GDDR3 memory
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • Native x16 lane PCI Express support
  • VGA connector, TV-out connector
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