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)
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!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
- Intel's 8th-gen 'Coffee Lake' chips reuse 14nm process as other Core CPUs ease into new tech
- Intel researches tech to prepare for a future beyond today's PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- FTLinux Systems EngineerQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)VIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- CCTableau ConsultantVIC
- CCProject ManagerSA
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)QLD
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD