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To make a long story short, this is not yet another GTO review, so I thought we should get this out of the way first. I am certain that this particular card has been benchmarked to death, and there are many capable reviews out there that will give you an idea of how well it stacks up either against its competition or other ATI offerings.

What this review is about really, is what to expect from the card after you decide to get it. Don't get me wrong, this is one popular card, and many people wished that ATI had released such a card much sooner than they did (and in quantities, thank you very much). But, as they say, you can't change the past, so what's done is done.

The Card

 

The card we have here for testing is a plain vanilla Radeon X800 GTO, directly from ATI – this means that what we will cover in this article covers all Add In Board (AIB) partners and their boards that you will find in the market to purchase. As you are probably aware already, the GT and GTO lines are ATI's way of disposing excess inventory in order to make way for the R5xx cards that are just starting to appear on the market. The GTO in particular is based on R423, R430 and R480 cores, and depending on which core you get, your overclocking potential will vary. But more of this later.

ATI's reference Radeon X800GTO we had in our disposal is based on an R423 core (it's the PCI-Express version of R420, which was used to create cards like the X800 Pro and X800 XT/XT PE, in case you didn't know that). It's got 12 pixel pipelines, 6 vertex shader units and its core and memory are clocked at 400MHz and 490MHz respectively (this stands whichever version of the core you'll get). Some more detailed specifications you can find in the table below :

ATI Radeon X800 GTO
Core
R423
Silicon Process
0,13µm low-k
Transistor Count
160 million
Core frequency
400 MHz
Memory frequency
490 MHz
Pipelines
12
Vertex Shader units
6
Peak memory bandwidth
31,36 GB/s
Pixel Fillrate
4800
Texel Fillrate
4800
APIs
DX 9.0c, Shader Model 2.0b

There are two things to pay attention to before you get your own card. The first thing would be the core. R423 and R480 cores are more prone to overclocking than R430 cores, so before you make your purchase, ask the local salesman and make sure the card you are getting is based in one of those two cores. We have a Radeon X800 GT here, which is based on the R430 core – it doesn't overclock more than 440MHz. If you think that, hey, that's a great overclock, 40MHz above default for the core, well, please read on.

The second thing would be the black power molex in the top right part of the card. As those of you who overclock already know, a card needs enough current in order to overclock in higher frequencies. So, if you want to make sure your card is not hampered by that, make sure the card you'll get has the black PCI-Express molex connector – that will ensure that your card has current to spare, and your overclock has more chances of succeeding. So, if possible, ask to see the card before you purchase it, or if that is not possible, ask specifically for this – you will thank me later.


 



 

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