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On Wednesday we brought you our first look at the X1800 technology in the form of a preview detailing the performance and features. In the past few days we’ve been delving deeper into the feature set and performance of the card and hope to bring you some very interesting comparisons over the next few weeks.

We thought it was about time there was some overclocking tests supplied to the public so with that in mind we got our hands on just about the only tool that allows you to overclock the X1800XT direct from ATI and pushed this beast as high as it would go without any modifications.

Test Systems and benchmarking comments

AMD Athlon64 FX55 CPU
2x512mb DDR 3200 (2-2-2-5)
Samsung 80Gb 7200rpm 8mb Cache Sata Drive
Sony DWD22a DVDRW drive
Ultra Xconnect 500w PSU
ATI Reference Crossfire Motherboard

Windows XP SP2
.Net FW 1.1 sp1
Catalyst WHQL (X1800XT specific drivers)

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows XP was installed. Following the completion of the installation, the ATI drivers were installed. The only updates applied were SP2 and .NET Framework 1.1(latest service pack). Next, the latest builds of the benchmarking tools were installed and finally, the hard drive was de-fragmented. For each test, the ATI drivers were set to default quality/optimizations (unless otherwise stated).

Good Benchmarking Practice:
Where possible, each benchmark was performed 3 times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All games/applications had their latest patches applied.

Overclocking the XT
At the moment there are not any readily available tools which allow you to overclock the X1800 (or any R5xx card) however we were able to get our hands on a tool created by ATI which allows us to configure the clocks on the card.

With this in hand we started up from the default clocks of 625/1500 and aimed for the relatively safe 650/1600. At 650/1610 all was well, no graphical anomalies etc so next stop was 678/1700 (yes we were feeling adventurous!)

Running through a few loops of 3dmark and Doom3 showed no issues at these speeds so off we went again and tried 700/1700. This time though we ended up with VPU recover kicking in. After some playing around with smaller increments we found the card was completely stable at 685/1700 but would run for an extended time at 690/1700.


So with the max core speed found it was time to test the memory further. 200mhz more than stock already was an excellent increase and we hadn’t expected much more however the card was to surprise us further when it reached 685/1790 with complete stability. 690/1800 was possible with some artifacting but any higher than this forced VPU recover to kick in.

Performance when overclocked.
To test the X1800XT’s performance increase when overclocked we fired up Doom3 set the game to 1600x1200 Ultra Quality and enabled 6xAA/16xAF. Here is the performance achieved.

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Considering that Doom3 is a game which doesn’t perform as well on the X18 as some other titles, being able to achieve more than 50fps on average is a great result. Especially when you take into consideration the extreme settings used.

dont have flash installed? then click here for a jpeg version

Again quite a reasonable increase in performance and as we were using ATI’s new Adaptive anti aliasing and High Quality AF the game also looked stunning.

So it looks like the X1800XT has a whole load of headroom for you overclockers out there…and if the above performance wasn’t enough to make you salivate you should just remember all of the above was achieved on stock cooling with stock voltage…



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