Reviews and Problems with Sapphire ATI RADEON X800 XL
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Sapphire Radeon X800XL Ultimate Review
4 October 2011
Excerpt: Introduction Sapphire X800XL Ultimate A few years ago Sapphire released a truly silent line of cards know as the Ultimate series. These cards used various different models of heatpipe based coolers from Korean cooling company Zalman. The coolers performed remarkably well considering the total lack of any active cooling and people who were interested in true silence took notice.
Summary: I like this card. I like it a lot. It
offers a great amount of performance for its price, and the addition of
the Zalman fan keeps things nice, cool, and quiet. While the board
design is strictly reference, the additional cooling seems to have
helped with overclocking. While results will differ from board to board
and chip to chip, the addition of this high performing, yet nearly
silent cooler, should help in any situation.
Pros: Very cool and quiet, Outstanding performance for the price, Excellent connectivity, Excellent 2D and 3D quality, Solid overclocking, Catalyst drivers, No external power connection needed
Cons: The heatsink takes up two slots, A bit pricier than a standard X800 XL, Older software bundle, No TRIXX software as of yet, Most X800 XL’s rarely overclock past 440 MHz core
Summary: The X800 XL looks to be one of the most
exciting products that ATI has produced in a while. The
price/performance ratio of this product is very high, especially once it
is offered universally at $299 and lower. While the $200 price point is
the most popular among the majority of users, the $300 mark will enable
a significant jump in performance.
Pros: Quick for a $299 card, 256 MB of GDDR-3, Solid overclocking potential, Excellent 2D/3D quality, Excellent anti-aliasing quality, Good anisotropic filtering quality, Fan noise level very quiet in standard use, Copper heatsink with good contact, $299 MSRP
Cons: Most often found well above $299, Fan can get annoying at 100% speed, RAM sinks on only ½ of the BGA memory chips, No Shader Model 3.0 support
Conclusion: Benchmark Summary: Like ATI's reference Radeon X800 XL, Sapphire's Hybrid Radeon X800 XL performed very well throughout our entire suite of benchmarks. It did best in DirectX games like Half Life 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004, but faltered a bit in the Doom 3 (OpenGL) tests. In games like Halo, Splinter Cell, and FarCry the Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL battled it out with a GeForce 6800 GT, with one card winning a few tests only to fall behind in others.
Conclusion: You can purchase the 512mb card here for $449. At this amount the extra 256MB of memory on Sapphire's Radeon X800 XL comes with quite a price increase over Sapphire's Radeon X800 XL which can be found for $318, a price difference of $131. With virtually no speed increase at all with 512MB of memory it is quite an expense for bragging rights that lack any substance.