Last month when ATI launched the Radeon X850 they also launched some new X800 series cards, at that time there were no samples available to the public or reviewers. As of the beginning of January the X800XL is making its way into the hands of the public and so we have a sample here for review. With an expected retail price of $299 it sits around $100 less than a 6800GT and so a performance comparison with the 6800GT is what we have here today.

The X800XL is based on the R430 core and features a 16 pipeline design and our sample comes with clocks of 400mhz core and 493mhz memory. Other than a few minor tweaks of the core (and shrinking to .11micron) it is very similar in design to the X800XT and PE.

Card layout is also identical to the other X800 series cards, though unlike the X800XT/PE no external power is required, this is the major benefit of the move to 0.11 micron.

Rather surprisingly we see that unlike the X850 the X800XL is a single DVI card. In this area it looses out to the similarly priced 6800GT. Most GT cards are Dual DVI. The cooler is the standard X800 design and so is quieter than both the X700 and X850 designs at all times. You’ll also see from the front of the card that there is no connector for VIVO functionality on the front of the card, this lack of functionality is confirmed by the rear of the card…

…no rage theatre chip. Not necessarily a bad thing of course if you are only buying the card for gaming. The rear of the card also allows us to see the memory used by ATI.

In the case of the X800XL ATI are using Samsung 2.0ns memory which is rated up to 500mhz. As the memory of our sample is running at 492mhz we can see that there is not much headroom for the memory if you’re an overclocker. We did obtain a very decent overclock from our sample however and you can see that later in the article.

One final point of note, the X800XL is, at this time, PCI Express only…

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