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PowerColor RADEON 9800XT 256MB
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 4th August, 2004
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Value For Money Award)

A Look At One Of The NV38 Killers

In case you are not aware, PowerColor Corporation recently renamed themselves to TuL Corporation, but despite the name change, their products are still retailed under the PowerColor branding. However for online information and support, you'll have to point your browser to .

PowerColor's RADEON 9800 XT 256MB DDR (XR98T-D3) looks uncannily similar with numerous other RADEON 9800 XT graphics cards. The fact that there wasn't the slightest variation from ATI's own retail product (built by ATI or also known as BBA), could well mean that this card might be a BBA product that was purchased in bulk by PowerColor for their own inventory (even the components on the card seem similar). Only a serial number sticker at the rear with PowerColor's own model number sets it apart from an original ATI product. The good news is that you are getting a card that is as good as an original ATI retail product, but the minor downside is that the card doesn't have its own identity.

This is PowerColor's RADEON 9800 XT graphics card but it looks more like ATI's own retail product if you ask us.

Closing in on the graphics card's cooler, you'll notice that it's primarily made of a thick copper slab with many thin folded aluminum fins glued to the base. The aluminum fins were color coated to match the copper base.

The graphics card's enormous cooler (with its 65mm diameter fan) is a huge departure from the dinky little coolers found on the non-XT RADEON 9800 series and lower (though they were sufficient enough to keep the card running in good condition). Where there was once no passive rear cooling, the RADEON 9800 XT products make it mandatory with a flat molded copper heatsink. It wasn't so much for cooling the VPU rear as it was to cool the graphics memory chips.

Even the rear has a thin, flat copper heatsink to better facilitate heat dissipation from the RAM chips and to a certain degree, even the rear of the VPU too.

The back I/O panel has have the usual common connectors – Analog VGA output, 7-pin mini-DIN output for TV-output and a DVI-I connector.

In the PowerColor RADEON 9800XT 256MB package, you'll find a full complement of accessories and the sweet tooth of every graphics card package, which has got to be the games pack. Here's the complete inventory of the package minus the graphics card:-

  • PowerColor RADEON 9800 series manual
  • Drivers CD
  • InterVideo WinDVD 4
  • Big Mutha Truckers game
  • Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness game
  • Half-Life 2 game (redeemable coupon)
  • RADEON 3D Games Pack (six playable demos – Splinter Cell, Warcraft III, Will Rock, Breed, Colin McRae Rally 3 and TOCA Race Driver)
  • S-Video extension cable
  • Composite extension cable
  • S-Video to Composite RCA converter
  • Y-Power cable splitter
  • DVI-I to DB15 VGA analog converter
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