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PowerColor Radeon X800GT

Radeon X800GT
21st September 2005
Manufacured By
Supplied By



You don't need a degree in human psychology to know that even Solitaire-playing great aunt Mary would happily run the biggest, baddest bruiser of a graphics card if somebody offered it here for nothing. Unfortunately though life's not like that, and that's the reason why we have a huge market for products that sit lower down on the power scale but higher up on the value scale.

The bleeding edge of high end graphics is undoubtedly where reputations are won and lost, or at least slightly dented, but that's certainly not where the funds for the company cars and plush offices are made.

It's important to remember that mainstream users aren't people who don't want powerful graphics cards, they're people who don't NEED powerful graphics card. Give them the option to equip their systems with a polished, pixel-pushing games monster without them having to sell a kidney on eBay and you can bet they won't say no.

The balance of power in the mid-range market has shifted back and forth for several years, but the latest round had been NVIDIA's with their formidable 6600GT. I say HAD been advisedly, because today's review candidate aims to demote the champ and set a new performance standard.

At just over £100, this 8-pipeline card comes with 256MB of memory but, perhaps more importantly, the memory bus is 256 bits wide. This should give a real-world advantage over the theoretically stifled 128 bit memory bus found on competing products.

The card is based on R480 VPUs that didn't make the grade when tested running the full compliment of 16 pipelines or when run at full speed, so it's claimed we'll see limited quantities available in the retail channel.

The fact that PowerColor have made the decision to base all their X800GTs on R480s should bode well for overclocked performance.

Incidentally, for those of you who don't know a great deal about PowerColor, and that included me, they apparently sprung from PC tech solutions company TuL Corporation back in 1997 and are the world's third largest provider of graphic cards and the number one supplier of "powered by ATi" graphics boards. PowerColor is run independantly of TuL but is still owned by them.


With that out of the way let's look over the specs:


PowerColor X800 GT
Part Number X800GT256MB
2nd Part Number 4710810931246
Memory & Bus Width 256 MB DDR3 / 256 bit
Core Speed 475 MHz
Memory Speed 490 MHz x 2
Output Dual DVI / / / / HDTV
Interface PCIE X16
Pixel Pipelines 8
Direct X Support 9.0
TV Connector S-Video


PowerColor X800 GT Technology Specifications
‧ 8 parallel pixel pipelines
‧ 6 parallel vertex processing engines
‧ 160 million transistors on 0.13 micron fabrication process
‧ 256-bit quad-channel GDDR3 memory interface
‧ PCI Express? x16 lane native support
‧ MCE support

‧Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
‧ DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shaders
- Vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
- Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
‧ Direct X 9.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
- Up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
- 32 temporary and constant registers
- Facing register for two-sided lighting
- 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
- Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
‧ Complete feature set also supported in OpenGLR via extensions

‧ 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
- Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample
patterns, and centroid sampling
- Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1)at all resolutions, including widescreen

HDTV resolutions
- Temporal Anti-Aliasing
‧ 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
- Up to 128-tap texture filtering
- Adaptive algorithm with bilinear (performance) and trilinear (quality) options

3Dc ™
‧ High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
‧ Works with any two-channel data format

‧ 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
‧ Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
‧ Fast Z-Buffer Clear
‧ Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
‧ Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions


‧ Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
‧ FULLSTREAM? video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
‧ VIDEOSOAP? noise removal filtering for captured video
‧ MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration
- DXVA Support
- Hardware Motion Compensation, iDCT, DCT and color space conversion
‧ All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
‧ Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
additional features


‧ Dual integrated display controllers
‧ Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
‧ Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
‧ Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
‧ WindowsR Logo Program compliant
‧YPrPb component output for direct driver of HDTV displays
‧ CATALYST? Software Suite
‧Compatible with ATI's THEATER video decode and capture devices for VIVO configurations



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