ATIís X800 XT card
While the RADEON X800 XT may have been born out of the need to service the OEM market, ATI still produces PCI Express X800 XT cards for the retail market as well under their ďBuilt By ATIĒ label. These arenít white box cards either, ATIís X800 XT boards sport full retail packaging and ATIís full three-year warranty. In comparison, most OEM or white box warranties range from 30 to 90 days.
Thereís nothing particularly noteworthy about ATIís X800 XT board design, as ATI obviously made no changes from their reference design. When the X800 XT first launched back in June, rumors were swirling that ATI would be adding dual DVI connections to their retail boards to make them more competitive with PCI Express GeForce 6800 GT and GeForce 6800 Ultra, both of which feature dual DVI connectors (on the AGP side, only the GeForce 6800 Ultra ships with dual DVI). More than one ATI board partner suggested to us that ATI was leaning in that direction back at the Computex trade show in June.
The ATI X800 XT card
Back of the card
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line ATI must have changed their mind, as final boards never got dual DVI connections. Instead this feature was left for the RADEON X850 XT series.
One feature enthusiasts interested in overclocked always pay attention to are the memory modules manufacturers use on their boards. In the past ATI has relied on three different manufacturers Ė Micron, Infineon, and Samsung. For GDDR3 however ATI has relied solely on Samsung, the worldís largest memory manufacturer.
2.0ns memory modules were used on the X800 XT board we received from ATI, good for speeds up to 500MHz (in comparison, ATI uses 1.6ns modules on the X800 XT Platinum Edition, which are rated for speeds up to 600MHz). This leaves little room for overclocking, but officially keeps the ATI card in line with Samsungís specs.
Home video buffs will like the X800 XTís video encoding capability, provided by the venerable Rage Theater chip. While NVIDIA took video encoding off their high-end GeForce 6800 cards, starting with the X800 series ATI decided to add video input to their RADEON family. This feature was previously only found in ATIís ALL-IN-WONDER line.
To be honest, we were a bit surprised to see ATI keep Rage Theater on their PCI Express boards, as most PCI Express motherboards are shipping with at least rudimentary FireWire support nowadays. But at the same time, by providing VIVO (video-in/video-out) capability via the Rage Theater chip, end users can make vid caps of their PS2/Xbox games, as well as transfer old videos from VHS to their computer.
Hardware and software accessories
Besides the graphics card, driver CD and manual, ATI also includes a VIVO cable and component video cable (YPrPb) for hooking up your X800 XT card to an HDTV, as well as a DVI adapter and a copy of PowerDVD 5. With the exception of RADEON 9800 XT (which included a copy of Half-Life 2), ATI has never been big on game bundles, so itís no surprise to see the RADEON X800 XT come with so little software.