We really had a chance to get down and dirty with the latest X1800XL sample to hit our labs from Gigabyte. We were able to run more benchmarks and start to tinker a little bit more with the overclocking side of things and as you can see, we really began to start seeing a difference in performance with the overclock.
As we mentioned earlier the GeForce 7800GT with the latest drivers really begins to take advantage of the Dual Core processor capabilities on offer from the Athlon X2 and even with that leg up on the X1800XL, it still doesn't manage to blow the ATI competition away totally.
Dual graphic card setups are going to become a whole lot more interesting when ATI can get its act together with Crossfire but at the moment the 7800GT SLI capability does light up a lot of people's eyes and lean them towards this option over the ATI offering.
The Radeon X1800XL is an excellent GPU and the Gigabyte based solution is pretty good - it's available now and the architecture behind it is more advanced then the nVidia offering which has more MHz and more pipes. The Gigabyte X1800XL is packed full of features such as two Dual Link DVI ports, HDTV output and VIVO support - it's pretty much got everything you could ever need right now as far as IO goes. On top of this, it's a single slot design and the cooler isn't loud plus the entire package is quite stylish and very easy on the eye.
Die hard ATI fans are going to opt for this option over the other thanks to better driver support (monthly releases) and the image quality and options available by ATI are greater then its nVidia counterpart as it's not always about frames per second, even though the gap between the X1800XL and 7800GT is closing especially when we start to overclock.
Good package bundle
Available now to buy
Dual Link DVI, HDTV and VIVO
Monthly driver updates
Single slot design
Good performance and even better when overclocked
Great overclocking ability (core only currently through ATI Tool)
Overclocking is still difficult (at the moment)
Still waiting for X1K Crossfire master cards
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editors Choice Award