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» Channels :: Graphics Card
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Wednesday, 2nd March, 2005

Conclusion – Take Two

Based on our findings, we rate the graphics cards under several subcategories to better paint the picture of how these cards fared in various aspects of our testing. Please note that each category carries different weightage and do not necessarily total up for the final rating of the product. Pricing information reflected in the table below may not reflect the absolute price of a product, but most are suggested retail prices that are accurate at the point of writing.

The RADEON X800 PRO Graphics Adapter Report Card
ABIT RX800 PRO Connect3D RADEON X800 PRO GeCube GC-X800 PRO256-VIVO Gigabyte GV-R80 P256V * HIS Excalibur X800Pro IceQ II VIVO PowerColor RADEON X800 PRO Sapphire RADEON X800 PRO VIVO
Performance 4 4 5 5 4 4 4
Overclocking 3.5 4.5 4 4.5 5 3 5
Features 3.5 3.5 4 4 5 3.5 4
Image Quality 3.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4 4.5 4.5
Temperature 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 5 3 3.5
Noise 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Software Bundle 2.5 2 3.5 5 3.5 5 4.5
Cables/Accessories 5 5 4 4 4 5 5
SG Pricing (est.) S$635 S$734 S$799 S$845 N.A. S$749 S$779
US Pricing (est.) US$399 US$395 US$460 US$479 US$399 US$422 US$430
The rating for each aspect is equivalent to our familiar star rating system.
* - Ratings for the Gigabyte GV-R80P256V is applicable only for the 16-pipeline version.

Here's a little description for some of the subcategories for better clarification:-

  • Features: This is rated based on the features of the graphics cards such as video capturing, hardware monitoring or other exclusive highlights. HIS scored full marks here for its IceQ II cooler.

  • Image Quality: This was judged based on the display output on our test CRT monitor (Philips Brilliance 202P4). Attributes such as text clarity, sharpness and color vividness were some of the aspects we use to judge the output quality.

  • Software Bundle: Rated in accordance to our evaluation of relevance, quality, quantity, version, inclusion of games and quality/quantity of game selection. Connect3D had nothing bundled besides the drivers CD, hence it obtained a low score in this segment.

    Studying the report card above, selecting a graphics card that best meets your criteria is an easy affair. If you fancy a product that looks like none others in the shootout, has an incredible cooling capability and is totally quiet at the same time, the HIS Excalibur X800Pro IceQ II VIVO comes highly recommended. In fact, its cooling and exhaust system is powerful enough to make a positive impact to your overall system cooling.

    For the best overclocking capability in terms of raw clock speed increment, we award both the HIS Excalibur X800Pro IceQ II VIVO and the Sapphire RADEON X800 PRO VIVO our Most Overclockable Product award. With the huge cooling system on the HIS card, overclocking is second to nature. Sapphire on the other hand, still relied on the reference cooler unit and yet it obtained equally impressive overclocking figures. Connect3D deserves a mention here as well with high VPU clocks, but was held back by its slower memory parts.

    For value hunters, one card stood out at the forefront for its attractive price point and great features and this was none other than the HIS Excalibur X800Pro IceQ II VIVO, which we conferred it our Most Value For Money Product award. With an SRP of US$399, it is undeniably a tempting option with many positive attributes going for it. However, it wasn't able to steal the show due to a few niggling issues. As highlighted in the earlier adjoining article, they pertain to its display output quality and the fact that it hogs multiple expansion slots. ABIT's X800 PRO could have been a lucrative candidate for the MVFM award if not for its sub-par display output that plagued it at high resolutions.

    Finally, gathering our experience with each card in this shootout our new Winner Of The ATI RADEON X800 PRO Shootout goes to GeCube's GC-X800PRO256-VIVO graphics card. While it wasn't exactly a standout in every department, it is most certainly a decent card with spectacular performance thanks to all 16 rendering pipelines activated in its VPU. That aspect alone is enough to give GeCube an upper hand in this comparison. Though it is also more dearly priced, for what it offers, we find it perfectly justifiable. If you are earnest in overclocking the card, you'll be delighted to know its performance can surpass that of the fastest AGP graphics card currently available - the ATI RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition.

    According to our report card, Gigabyte's GV-R80P256V seems to be in a more favorable position, but that's as far as the 16-pipeline version is concerned. As mentioned earlier, this model is available in both 16 and 12-pipeline versions in retail, but there is no differentiation to tell them apart. If you happen to obtain the 12-pipline version which won't fair as admirably as our test units, the SRP of the card is simple too expensive for recommendation. Due to the uncertainty involved we are judging the Gigabyte GV-R80P256V as it should be for its recommended specifications, which is a 12-pipeline graphics card. In that point of view, it's still a good card, but just too expensive to justify it any better than a 4 star rating.
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