Both the ATI Radeon X800XL and X850XT flavors from GeCube are extremely good cards and its good to see that ATI are spreading their line out so they correspondent with the price. The X800 line has been excellent from day one with the X800PRO's being able to offer over double the performance of their previous counterpart the 9800XT.
The Uni Wise cooling solution from GeCube is an excellent design and with a maximum noise of 20db from cards being able to output this much power is excellent and especially ideal for users wanting to build a quiet PC. You won't need to turn your speakers up or use headphones to drown out the irritating noise that most graphics cards make.
The Radeon X800XL with its price and performance is an excellent contender for anyone moving to PCI Express and wants to get excellent performance without having to pay the price of a high-end X850 card. With 16 pixel pipelines, native PCI Express and performance like this we think it's easy to say that ATI have a real winner on their hands and GeCube have done a real good job with their retail version.
The Radeon X850XT isn't exactly a huge jump in performance when you compare it to the previous X800XT line but it wasn't supposed to be but with little tweaks like better cooling and a slight voltage increase they are hoping to get better yields of the card which in turn should prevent the shortage problems that we have seen with the X800XT all too much. With that said though they have given a slight increase in core and memory plus the inclusion of all cards coming with Dual DVI which is something that we have only seen on some third party manufactures such as HIS.
ATI don't have any intentions of standing there and letting nVidia just go pass them in one swoop considering the amount of effort they put in to get into the hearts of the enthusiasts over the last few years. The graphics card market is more heated now then it has ever been (and that's really saying something) and it's only going to get better with more advancements coming as SLI becomes more mature for nVidia and AMR is released to compete with SLI from ATI in the coming months.
So, do you do choose - nVidia or ATI?
Excellent Cooling - Performance and Noise wise
Performance on both cards is exceptional
X800XL doesn't need external power
X800XL provides good bang for buck
Lacking impressive bundle in both cards
Rating - 8.5 out of 10
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