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ATI RADEON X800 PRO Shootout (AGP)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Saturday, 12th February, 2005


ATI's Breadwinner Of The High-End

Slightly more than a half a year after its launch, the ATI RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition is still the highest performing product on the AGP front. Supporting this statement is numerous media reports all around the world, including our own article where we conferred it the Winner award of the high-end VPU/GPU shootout. Although every ATI graphics card vendor has a model based on this VPU, limited quantity and availability have made it a craving product for the ardent enthusiasts with deep pockets. Today the situation has improved, but it is still not available in quantities like its sibling. Right from the start, the RADEON X800 PRO was a much more widely distributed SKU and is easily available from all your favorite vendors anytime off the shelf. Equipped with 256MB DDR3 frame buffer, a 256-bit memory interface, 12 rendering pipelines, six geometry engines, the RADEON X800 PRO is the foremost high-end AGP product shipping in mass volume.

Seven Radeon X800 PRO AGP cards from ABIT, Connect3D, GeCube, Gigabyte, HIS, PowerColor and Sapphire are compared in this shootout.

Since RADEON X800 PRO products are easily obtainable, it was the perfect choice for us to perform a comprehensive shootout article for buyers looking to upgrade their AGP subsystem with high-end ATI options. On the table today are seven RADEON X800 PRO graphics cards from ABIT, Connect3D, GeCube, Gigabyte, HIS, PowerColor and Sapphire. To get started on the shootout, we present the common tech specs of all seven cards in the table below. Most importantly, all of the cards share the default GPU and memory clock speeds of 475MHz and 900 MHz DDR respectively. For those who wish to read more about the RADEON X800 series on the AGP platform and how it fares with other graphics processors of its class, we direct you to this article for all the relevant information.

Typical RADEON X800 PRO Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON X800 PRO Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Stock VPU clock = 475MHz
  • 12 parallel rendering pipelines **
  • 6 parallel geometry engines
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • AGP 8X support
  • SMARTSHADER™ HD
    • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    • 2.0 Vertex Shaders
      • Supports vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
      • Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
    • 2.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
      • Supports up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
      • 2nd Generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
      • 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 OpenGL® via extensions
  • SMOOTHVISION™ HD
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
      • Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      • Lossless Color Compression (up to6:1)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 bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • 3Dc™
    • High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
    • Works with any two-channel data format
  • HYPER Z™ HD
    • 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
  • VIDEOSHADER™ HD
    • 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
    • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
    • Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
  • Single and dual link external TMDS transmitter support for high resolution and/or multi-monitor DVI configurations
  • Compatible with ATI’s THEATER™ video decode and capture devices for VIVO (Video Input / Video Output) configurations on certain X800 graphics cards
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB Graphic DDR3 SDRAM
  • Default memory clock = 900MHz DDR
  • 256-bit memory interface
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
Connectors
  • 15-pin D-sub VGA connector (supports up to 2048x1536 @ 85Hz)
  • 1x DVI-I connector
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for TV-Output / VIVO (supports TV-output resolution up to 1024x768)
Driver & Software
  • Driver support for Windows NT / 98 / Me / 2000 / XP / XP 64-bit and Linux
Other Information
  • AGP 2.0 / 3.0 slot required (1.5V)
  • 1 PCI-assigned IRQ Required
** - Some vendors enable 16 rendering pipelines.

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