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Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO Roundup (PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Wednesday, 16th November, 2005


Sapphire's Radeon Sisters

It is not too often that we get a whole posse of hot aliens of the female persuasion dropping in on our labs. Well, we don't actually remember any or at least we don't think we do. Hence, it took us by surprise when Sapphire dropped a cluster bomb on us with its entire range of Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO cards for the PCI Express interface. Featuring sexy female aliens in various martial poses on its box art (you didn't take us literally right?), the Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO cards comprises of four different versions focusing on specific market niches, from the overclocking enthusiasts to the normal user to those on the lookout for a silent graphics card.

The ATI Radeon X800 GTO is effectively, like the recently released GeForce 6800 GS, a makeover and repackaging of an older GPU. With a surfeit of older GPUs, like the R480 that are also used in the high-end Radeon X850 cards, ATI decided to release a more affordable mid-range solution using these cores. What we got is the Radeon X800 GTO, which despite using a variety of cores, they produces the same result: it blows away NVIDIA's mid-range cards like the GeForce 6800. Coupled with a competitive price, it looks like a winner, albeit a short-lived one, as ATI is probably now concentrating on the new Radeon X1000 series. Nevertheless, for those who need a very decent mid-range graphics card, the Radeon X800 GTO is a steal for its price to performance ratio.

Which of these four ladies would you ask to the dance?

Sapphire is one of ATI's major manufacturing partners so not surprisingly, it has brought out the Radeon X800 GTO with a big bang. The four different versions of the card that we received all ran at the reference clock speeds of 400/980MHz for the core and memory. Instead, the most obvious difference between them is the type of cooler used, ranging from a heat pipe solution to a two-slot cooler. Here is a table summarizing the various Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO models and their differences:

Summary of Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO/GTO2 Models
Model Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO2 256MB Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO 256MB Fireblade Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO 256MB Ultimate Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO 256MB
Core Code R480 R480 R480 R480
Core Clock 400MHz 400MHz 400MHz 400MHz
Vertex Shaders 6 6 6 6
Rendering (Pixel) Pipelines 12 12 12 12
Memory Clock 980MHz DDR3 (Samsung 1.6ns) 980MHz DDR3 (Samsung 1.6ns) 980MHz DDR3 (Samsung 2.0ns)
  • 980MHz DDR3 (Samsung 2.0ns)
  • 700MHz DDR1 (2.8ns)
DDR Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
PCI Express Interface x16 x16 x16 x16
Molex Power Connectors Yes NIL NIL NIL
Cooling Solution Active Fan Sink ATI Dual Slot Active Fan Sink Thermaltake Heat Pipe Active Fan Sink
Software Bundle
  • Sapphire Select DVD (Select 1 Game)
  • TriXX Overclocking Utility
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0
  • Sapphire Select DVD (Select 2 Games)
  • TriXX Overclocking Utility
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0
  • Sapphire Select DVD (Select 1 Game)
  • TriXX Overclocking Utility
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0
  • Sapphire Select DVD (Select 1 Game)
  • TriXX Overclocking Utility
  • CyberLink Power DVD 6.0

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