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

An Unexpected Discrepancy

After successfully rolling out the ATI RADEON X800 PRO (AGP) Shootout article last month, a discrepancy in one of the card's specifications surfaced within two days of publication and we regrettable had to withdraw the awards. The RADEON X800 PRO card in question was Gigabyte's GV-R80P256V which had 16 rendering pipelines enabled. The good folks at Gigabyte have advised us that the product should actually feature only 12 rendering pipelines and sent us another sample. Upon our lab testing, we found the second sample too boasted of a fully unlocked VPU that had 16 pipelines enabled. By now we were rather dismayed at the situation since the graphics cards we received were contradicting the specifications from that featured on their website and even that advised by Gigabyte's own Product Specialists.

Digging deeper, Gigabyte's engineers have shed some light that ATI has supplied them chips that had both 16 and 12 pipelines active without sorting. So although the official specifications of the Gigabyte GV-R80P256V states it to have 12 active rendering pipelines in its ATI RADEON X800 PRO VPU, end-users who purchase this Gigabyte graphics card model could end up with a faster 16-pipeline version. The product packaging makes no differentiation and Gigabyte has no intension to do so either. For reviewers, this makes comparison and recommendation a tougher job since both the 12-pipeline and 16-pipeline versions of the Gigabyte GV-R80P256V are valid products. In this scenario, all our benchmark results from the shootout are certainly legitimate and applicable as long as the Gigabyte GV-R80P256V card at hand is a 16-pipeline version.

If you are following up from the previous article, the only changes we made in this brief update article are the graphics card feature comparison tables, conclusion and the awards handed out. For those who have not followed our previous ATI RADEON X800 PRO AGP Shootout , we strongly recommend reading that adjoining article first. So if you are ready, let's start off with the updated feature comparison tables:-

Graphics Card Comparison-1
Basic Comparative Specs ABIT RX800 PRO Connect3D RADEON X800 PRO GeCube GC-X800PRO256-VIVO Gigabyte GV-R80P256V
Default Clock Speeds 475/900 MHz 475/900 MHz 475/900 MHz 475/900 MHz
No. of Active VPU Pixel Pipelines 12 12 16 12 / 16*
Cooler Design Reference solution (65mm fan) Reference solution (65mm fan) Reference solution (65mm fan) Custom - extended (65mm fan)
Rear Cooling? No No No No
RAM Cooling? No No No Yes (front only)
RAM Spec Samsung K4J55323QF-GC20 Samsung K4J55323QF-GC20 Samsung K4J55323QF-GC16 Samsung K4J55323QF-GC16
Single Slot Solution? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Video Input? No No Yes (ATI Rage Theatre) Yes (ATI Rage Theatre)
Software Titles
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0
  • NIL
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0
  • CyberLink Power Director 2.5 ME
  • CyberLink MediaShow 2.0 SE
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 3.0 ME
  • 3D-Album DE ver:2.03
  • Gigabyte V-Tuner 2
Game Titles
  • NIL
  • NIL
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • SpellForce: The Order Of Dawn
  • Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
* - The Gigabyte GV-R80P256V is available in both 12 and 16 pipeline configurations

Graphics Card Comparison-2
Basic Comparative Specs HIS Excalibur X800Pro IceQ II VIVO PowerColor RADEON X800 PRO Sapphire RADEON X800 PRO VIVO
Default Clock Speeds 475/900 MHz 475/900 MHz 475/900 MHz
No. of Active VPU Pixel Pipelines 12 12 12
Cooler Design Arctic Cooling's ATI Silencer 4 (Rev.2) Reference solution (65mm fan) Reference solution (65mm fan)
Rear Cooling? Yes No No
RAM Cooling? Yes (front and rear) No No
RAM Spec Samsung K4J55323QF-GC16 Samsung K4J55323QF-GC20 Samsung K4J55323QF-GC16
Single Slot Solution? No Yes Yes
Video Input? Yes (ATI Rage Theatre) No Yes (ATI Rage Theatre)
Software Titles
  • CyberLink Power DVD 5.0
  • 3D-Album ver:3.14
  • Ulead VideoStudio 7SE
  • CyberLink DVD Solution (PowerDirector SE+, MediaShow SE, PowerDVD, PowerProducer, Power2Go)
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0 (2-channel)
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 2.55 VE
  • · Sapphire RedLine Tweak Utility
Game Titles
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • Arx Fatalis
  • Demo Games Collection CD (Vietcong, Railroad Pioneer, Neighbors From Hell, Tropico 2, Aquanox 2)
  • Counter Strike: Condition Zero
  • Hitman: Contracts
  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
  • Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time

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