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The last time we reviewed a Visiontek product was the X800XT in November of last year, since then we have looked at the majority of models coming from the ATI/partner stable. The ATI PCIexpress range is technically very strong across the board, but many people are disgruntled with availability, especially when we look at the Platinium Edition models.


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However its not all bad news as the plain XT versions have higher availability as well as more competitive pricing and most generally can overclock to the more expensive PE speeds. Pricewatch shows decent availability and pricing around the $480 mark which is good value, especially considering the X800XT AGP is still listed on Visiontek's site for the same price.

 

Features:
*256MB of GDDR3 memory
*256-bit memory interface
*16 parallel pixel pipelines
*PCI Express x16 lane native support
*Dual display support
*Dual integrated 400MHz DAC's
*2048x1536 @ 85Hz Maximum Resolution
*S-Video TV-out port
*Full support for DirectX® 9.0 and the latest OpenGL® 2.0 functionality
*SMARTSHADER™ HD technology
*SMOOTHVISION™ HD technology
*3Dc™ High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression delivers beautiful scenes without the performance hit.
*Unique VIDEOSHADER™ HD engine uses programmable pixel shaders to accelerate video processing and provide better-looking visuals
*HYPER Z™ HD is optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions.

The difference between the plain XT and the XTPE is quite minimal, with the clocks on the XT being 520 core and 540/1080 ram, while the PE version is 540 core and 590/1180 ram. Im not going to bore you all with detailed technical information on the XT card as we have been over the X850 series cards before, if you want more details go to our X850XTPE review or this reference page.

As you can see from the pictures above, the box has all the necessary cables as well as a convertor - but it is unfortunate to see Visiontek reverting to a VGA and DVI output, not the more expensive dual DVI system now enjoyed on all high end X850's. As some of you will remember the R3xx and R4xx chips have a VGA, DVO (digital video out) and a TMDS out (DVI, single TMDS). To get dual DVI you need to get a DVO - TMDS convertor chip - this is not included on the Visiontek X850XT card. Another omission is the ATI Rage Theatre Chip, generally this wont be an issue if you are just purchasing the card for gaming but its worth mentioning.

The Visiontek cooler is quite substantial with a nice deep copper plate being used over the core, its a reference design with the Visiontek "name" on it. which is very capable and does not get uncomfortably loud at any time, apart from system power on. You will be pleased to know even after hours of stressing in an overclocked state the cooler never reaches the insane levels of initial boot up.


Removing the rear mounting plate shows the memory to be Samsung K4J55323QF-16 which is rated to a possible 600/1200mhz, this is a good sign and should hopefully aid overclocking past the default speeds of 1080mhz, but more on that later in the review.

 

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