GeCube Radeon X850XT
- What is the X850XT?
The X850XT is here to take over where the X800XT line of cards ended, not that there was great quantity in the first place. The worst thing about the X800XT line of cards is availability due to the extremely poor yield rates. By increasing the voltage slightly on the new line of X850XT cards, ATI are hoping to get a better yield of these high-end cores and supply the market with the cards they want, which basically means faster cards and the X850XT should set you back around $499 US (which is roughly about the same as the GeForce 6800 Ultra) while the Platinum Edition will cost you an extra $50 US.
Like the X800XT we still have 16 pixel pipelines and the X850XT is available in two models, the Platinum Edition and the standard non Platinum. The non Platinum version comes in with a 520/1120 (Core/Memory) speed while the Platinum version comes with 540/1180 (Core/Memory). There isn't much of a difference you can see though some people will simply want the PE version because it is faster - bragging rights and that's all good.
- The Package
The box for the X850XT is extremely similar to that found of the X800XL, with the glossy front and picture that stands out, it is something that would catch your eye when walking into a shop and having a look at there line of graphics cards.
The back of the box is similar to the X800XL but shows you how you can take advantage of the features offered on this card like Dual DVI, VIVO and HDTV Output. It also gives you a run down on some of the core features that this card offers like 16 pixel pipelines, 256-bit GDD3 memory and so on.
Even more like the X800XL are the contents of the box with it including your manual, driver CD, Power DVD5 but also a copy of Power Director 2.5.
We do receive a few more cables this time around though - S-Video and RCA cables to take care of the TV out function, HDTV cable for people lucky enough to make use of this feature, VIVO set for people wanting to record to their computer, DVI to VGA connector and finally a power lead as many power supplies still find themselves lacking the correct PCI Express 6 pin power connector.
- The Main Features
Like the X800XL, the X850XT is making use of the Uni Wise cooling solution that only takes up one slot and runs a lot quieter then your usual cooler on graphics cards of this caliber.
The back right of the card shows us the 6 pin adapter where you plug in the power cable that came with the package. Unlike the GeForce 6800GT and Ultra, you don't need to plug two molex connectors into it but simply one which causes a less strain on your power supply. This is excellent news for when ATI release their "SLI" like solution as you shouldn't need 4 molex connectors to just power your graphics cards.
One thing you may notice is the inclusion of Dual DVI which is now standard on all X850 cards Platinum or non Platinum. This is excellent news for people wanting to run multiple high quality LCD's as the price of two 19" DVI LCD monitors are quite competitive these days.
The back of the card shows a giant back plate that holds the cooler onto the card and also covers the back of the memory. Being made of complete copper, the card is slightly heavier then the X800XL but it isn't something you would worry about.
You can also see the ATI Rage Theater chip that gives us VIVO functions for people wanting to record home videos to their computer and then convert them into a DVD for long life.
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