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Sapphire X800GTO Graphics Cards - Fireblade and Limited - Final Thoughts

We're comparing two new X800GTO cards from Sapphire - the overclockable Fireblade and 16 pipe capable Limited Edition.

| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Oct 19, 2005 4:00 am

Final Thoughts

 

ATI's Radeon X800GTO is a good graphics card but as we have mentioned before, we don't know if it has time to enter the busy graphics card market now. Sapphire has put together a fantastic package and both cards have their advantages and disadvantages.

 

The Fireblade Edition does overclock better and very well but so it should with the bigger and louder cooler. It also is able to get a huge increase in speed without the addition of the power connector that we find on the Limited Edition. The package is also slightly more feature rich with the Fireblade Edition thanks to the extra key unlock and free trial for GuildWars.

 

The Limited Edition on the other hand is supposed to be the big value card at the moment due to the high success rate of being able to unlock the extra pixel pipelines (12 to 16). We will be looking at this to see how we go and what kind of effort is needed to perform such a task.

 

As far as pricing is concerned, the Sapphire X800GTO cards are pretty good value indeed. While it isn't in great supply at the moment, it is available at the retail level. For a comparison, the cheapest X850XT listed on our shopping comparison website is currently $329 USD while the Fireblade Edition is just $172 USD and the Limited Edition is a little more expensive at $249 USD - still much cheaper than the X850XT.

 

While it didn't overclock as much, we will see what we can expect with the unlocking of the pipelines. The GTO² would be labeled Limited Edition due to the particular core in question being limited in numbers - so you might have to get in quick if you want to buy the X800GTO and unlock the pipelines to the same level as the more expensive X850XT.

 

- Fireblade Edition

 

- Pros

 

Great overclocking results

 

Solid performance even at stock speeds

 

Excellent bundle

 

Very stylish

 

Brilliant value for money

 

- Cons

 

Loud cooling solution

 

Dual slot cooling

 

- Latest Pricing

 

Sapphire Technology VGA X800GTO 256M Graphic Card

 

Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editors Choice Award

 

 

- Limited Edition

 

- Pros

 

16 pipeline unlocking potential

 

Solid performance even at stock speeds

 

Good but not great overclocking

 

Good value

 

- Cons

 

Lighter bundle

 

- Latest Pricing

 

Sapphire Technology VGA SPPHRE X800GTO2 256M Graphic Card

 

Rating - 8.5 out of 10

 

Both cards are excellent performing and score extremely close to each other but straight out of the box performance would have to go to the Fireblade Edition. As soon as you pull it out of the box you think just how cool it looks and the smile only gets bigger once you start overclocking the thing. While it does use a dual slot cooler, it isn't really a big deal as people should always try to keep the slot next to a higher end graphics card free anyway.

 

With the rumors going around about the unlocking ability of the X800GTO² you would tend to think it's a better card but is it a 100% guaranteed - it might affect your warranty and there is probably no guarantees you'll get a card which has the core which can be unlocked.

 

We will look back at the Limited Edition card and see just how we go with the unlocking procedure tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that. In summing it all up, the X800GTO² would be the more Enthusiast Friendly product while the Fireblade Edition is more for the person who knows how to use an overclocking tool or don't want to have to worry about risking warranty to get extra performance.

 

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