Sapphire ATI Radeon X1800 XL
- New design keeps everything flowing smoothly, Optimised Z-buffer and pixel shaders
- Doesn't fare so well against its direct rivals
The X1800 XL ships with some slick new structural improvements, but this doesn't translate to a much improved performance.
Price$ 860.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
ATI looks to be teeing up its latest batch of graphics chips so here's a little glimpse of what the new-look Radeons promise to deliver. Enter the X1800 XL, which opens the door to an entirely new ATI architecture.
Most of the new technology revolves around increasing efficiency. For example, the way memory is used has been comprehensively rejigged. In ATI's new design, the memory controller receives a lot of support from the rest of the card, thus allowing it to keep everything flowing more smoothly. The Z-buffer (which stops the card from drawing unnecessary pixels) has been optimised - ATI reckons the system catches 50 to 60 percent more than before - and pixel shaders are more carefully handled as well.
So with these improvements, plus the Avivo functions for boosting video and display output, you've got a pretty irresistible package, right? Well, we wouldn't exactly go that far.
The new architecture may be extremely efficient, but this didn't really show up in our tests. Visually it was pretty much on a par with its biggest rival, the GeForce 7800 GT, but only in Splinter Cell did it produce any real performance advantage - and that was rarely more than 3fps (frames per second). It moved ahead on Half-Life 2 by little more than a frame, and fell behind in both Far Cry and Doom3 - dramatically, in the case of the latter. The X1800 tended to fare less well as you stacked up the detail settings.
The X1800 XL has some very nice features and the drivers have a level of programmability that mean its performance could improve markedly in coming months. In the meantime, though, it is difficult for us to recommend.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Total War: Warhammer DirectX 12 performance preview: Radeon reigns supreme
- Radeon Polaris GPU and Bristol Ridge APU should be featured by AMD at Computex
- Google's Tensor Processing Unit said to advance Moore's Law seven years into the future
- Confirmed by Nvidia: Official GeForce GTX 1070 tech specifications leak
- Rumours are true: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 officially supports only 2-way SLI setups
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCBig Data DeveloperWA
- CCApplication Server AdminACT
- FTVMWare Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- FTCloud ArchitectAsia
- FTDelivery Lead- AWSNSW
- CCOracle DBA | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- CCSr. Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSr Service ManagementACT
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCDeemed Order Business SpecialistVIC
- CCCCB & MDM ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Team Leader Applications SupportACT
- CCTIBCO Integration ConsultantVIC
- CCRelease Manager, SAPNSW
- CCSenior Programmer (Data Engineering)NSW
- FTOPEN _ ASAP_Technical Specialist COEACT
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT
- CCInfrastructure and Cloud Project ManagerVIC
- CC12 months + 2x12 months | $80/hr | NV1 Project Manager | Large govt departmentACT
- FTApplication Support EngineerVIC
- CCPHP / Magento E-Commerce DeveloperNSW
- CCIteration Manager/Agile Project ManagerNSW
- CCOracle Fusion SOA/BPEL DeveloperVIC
- CCDigital Content ProducerVIC
- CCSoftware Licensing AnalystVIC