Sapphire X800 XL


posted 2/14/2005 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
The Sapphire branded card is pretty vanilla with nothing out of the ordinary. With the only real change from the reference board being the branding on the heatsink fan unit, the Sapphire card lacks any innovation. I’m guessing they will try their hand at a Toxic version of this card down the road like they did with the X800 Pro and the X700 recently. Otherwise, this is the same card you would get if you ordered an ATI one.

Because of the PCI-Express interface, the card doesn’t need an external power supply like the recent AGP high end cards. PCI-Express allows for more power to be supplied to the card so the exclusion of a molex connector is most welcomed. Also, the card’s design makes it a single slot solution and should make SFF owners and those wanting a single slot card very happy.

One of the nice things about Sapphire’s offerings are the bundles and the X800 XL card I received features two great games. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time are included along with a good software suite. That’s two well received game that’s a great addition to anyone’s library.

We’re going to be comparing this card to the ATI Radeon X700 Pro and the WinFast GF6600 GT TDH. The 6600GT comes in at about $100 less than the MSRP of the Radeon X800 XL. While not really a direct competitor, the card is one of the few PCI-E cards in our office that was closest to the X800 XL. Our test system includes:

AMD64 3800+
2 OCZ PC3200 256MB of ram
ATI Radeon 200P microATX motherboard
120 GIG Maxtor 7200RPM HD
Windows XP w/ Service Pack 2

3DMark05 is the only synthetic benchmark we are using today. From their website: It is the first benchmark to require a DirectX9.0 compliant hardware with support for Pixel Shaders 2.0 or higher! By combining high quality 3D tests, CPU tests, feature tests, image quality tools, and much more, 3DMark05 is a premium benchmark for evaluating the latest generation of gaming hardware.

Not surprisingly, the X800 XL wins handily over the NVIDIA card.
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