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Sapphire Radeon X1800XL - Our first retail sample - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark03

Sapphire sent us their brand new Radeon X1800XL graphics card to be put through the usual VGA review torture.

By: | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Oct 17, 2005 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Sapphire Technologies

Test System Setup


Processor(s): AMD Athlon X2 3800+


Motherboard(s): ASUS A8N SLI Premium (Supplied by ASUS)


Memory: 2 X 512MB Mushkin PC4000 DDR (Supplied by Mushkin)


Hard Disk(s): WD Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA (Supplied by Western Digital)


Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP1


Drivers: Mixture of ATI drivers and DX9c


Driver wise we are a bit all over the place today due to the Catalyst 5.10 drivers not supporting the X1K line up. Since our Sapphire X1800XL also arrived before our reference X1800XT sample, we used the drivers that came with the Sapphire card and quickly discovered that these drivers wouldn't work with the XT variant.


Since the drivers that came from ATI are not available to be downloaded, we have used the driver that came from Sapphire which is labeled which we think translates to 21st September 2005 driver and for the reference X1800XT we have use the driver labeled 8.173.1-050921a-026915E which seems to be dated the same but be a different driver and finally for the GeCube X800XL and X850XT we have used the latest official release Catalyst 5.10.


We will be doing most of our normal benchmarks but unfortunately we have been unable to get a hold of an overclocking tool for the X1K cards as ATI Tool doesn't support these cards at the moment. We have all intentions of overclocking the X1800XL and X1800XT cards but it won't be today unfortunately. We have included our normal CPU overclock and high quality tests to see how the cards fair when we mix it up.


We have compared the X1800XL from Sapphire today against its predecessors the X800XL and X850XT to see what kind of performance jump we get but we have also thrown in the X1800XT to see also just where the X1800XL sits.




Version and / or Patch Used: Build 340


Developer Homepage:


Product Homepage:


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By combining full DX8 and partial DX9 support with completely new tests and graphics over the previous version, 3DMark03 continues the legacy of being the industry standard 3D benchmark.


Please Note: Due to recent events with the 3DMark03 series, we are adding results purely for those who are still in favor of 3DMark03. These results should not be taken too seriously and are only added for interest sakes.



The X1800XL performs slightly faster then the X850XT and it would seem that pricing on both cards are very similar. This is an excellent start for the X1800XL and we can also see that the X1800XT gets quite a large boost not only over the X1800XL but the previous generation cards.


Further Reading: Read and find more Video Cards content at our Video Cards reviews, guides and articles index page.

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