Gigabyte Radeon X800PRO and X800XT PE Compared

Shane has compared two new Radeon X800 graphics cards from Gigabyte today - the X800PRO and X800XT PE. We compare the cards against each other in our usual array of benchmarks except for the inclusion of Doom 3 at a range of different quality settings. Does Gigabyte have the answer for your X800 VGA needs? Read on and find out!
| Aug 8, 2004 at 11:00 pm CDT
Manufacturer: none

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Introduction

IntroductionGigabyte is a huge player in the motherboard market. They are right up there with the big gun ASUS who help keep the competition nice and fierce in markets around the world. Not only does Gigabyte make a good quality motherboard though, they also make a very solid graphics card. We have looked at a number of different Gigabyte cards, everything from nVidia to ATI but today we are going to be looking at the Radeon X800PRO and X800XT PE much like we did with HIS graphics cards just the other week.The worst thing about X800 graphics cards from most companies is that they are very similar to each other as far as look and package goes that they can become difficult to write about due to the lack of physical differences. We won't talk too much about the GPU technology as we have already mentioned it a number of times in previous X800 content but we will be having a close look at what the card package has to offer that other cards didn't and how Gigabyte's X800 performance looks in our usual suite of benchmarks.Let's find out what Gigabyte has to offer on the X800 front!

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Gigabyte X800PRO

Gigabyte X800PRO- The PackageThe box of the Gigabyte X800PRO is awesome; it's big, long and impossible to take a picture of. The front has a wicked looking character with what looks like a bit of a battle axe. The front of the box gives you a little bit of information like the amount of memory, the fact it has DVI and a few other pieces of useful information.
The back of the box gives you a bit more information about the card, like its features and what software comes with the package but the chances are you would have made up your mind on what brand you want that the box won't be that important. The general feeling from most people when they get their new X800 is how quickly they can get the card out of the manufactures box and into their own PC box.
When it comes to moving inside the box we quickly just push the card aside for the moment so we can have a look at what comes with it. As usual we have the instruction manual, your normal array of cables (power, HDTV and so on) and a pile of CDs. Included as far as applications and games go we have the Gigabyte CD which has some drivers you will never install (downloading the latest from the ATI website is much more advisable), 3D Album software, PowerDVD5, Spell Force and Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield.
- The CardThe Gigabyte X800PRO (like the ASUS version we looked at in previous articles) uses the same cooler as the reference Radeon 9800XT. This cooler is slightly bigger then the standard X800 cooler - the standard cooler for the X800 series was designed so it could be placed in small form factors PCs easier but we had no problems placing 9800XTs in any of our small form factors including the MSI Mega PC which would have to be one of the tightest small form factors available. The advantage of using the reference 9800XT cooler is that it properly covers all of the memory chips on the front of the card. The usual X800 cooler only covers part of the memory chips.
Gigabyte have placed their own sticker over the cooler and the first time you fire up the card you notice a nice blue glow coming from the side of the card thanks to the LED in the cooler. Apart from that, it really is your standard X800 graphics card: red PCB, molex connector for power, DVI, VGA and S-Video. Gigabyte didn't decide to install a monster cooler like HIS.
At the back of the card you can see that it utilizes Samsung's GDDR 3 K4J55323QF-GC20 2ns memory (in-depth information here at Samsung website) like all other X800PROs without VIVO which is good for 500MHz (or 1GHz DDR). A lot of the VIVO cards seem to have 1.6NS memory and the general feeling behind these cards is that they are X800XTs that haven't passed the GPU core requirement - some are even reported to have the full 16 pipelines like the actual X800XT and XT PE.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Gigabyte X800XT PE

Gigabyte X800XT PE- The Package
The box is very similar to the X800PRO, as you can see. The only difference really is that it says that it's an X800XT PE on the front and when turning around to the back you see that under the specifications it has 16 pipes as opposed to 12.If you pay attention to our news you would have noticed only a week or two back that Gigabyte sent out a press release explaining how they were going to release some new games with their X800XT PE graphics card. We didn't expect our sample card direct from Gigabyte in Taiwan to come with them all as it arrived just before the press release but when you open up the Gigabyte X800XT PE package and place all the CDs together, there they all are.With a total of 10 CDs, Gigabyte have gone all out with this package. Like the X800PRO we have the Gigabyte driver CD, Rainbow Six 3; Raven Shield, Power DVD 5, 3D Album and Spell Force. What is different is the inclusion of Joint Operations, Counter Strike: Condition Zero, Power Director and the latest installment of Thief. That's a total of 5 full version games to get you started.
The inclusions of these extra games is to make sure that people are going to get a bit of use out of their graphics cards (as well as value for money) but there is no denying that games like Hitman: Contracts and Counter Strike: Condition Zero are not very demanding on the card. Apart from the huge amount of games you also receive your other array of cables and X800XT manual which we saw in the X800PRO package.- The CardAs far as the look of the Gigabyte X800XT goes, it is pretty much exactly the same as the X800PRO. It is only once you turn the card around that you see something a little different. Firstly it's using Samsung's GDDR 3 K4J55323QF-GC16 1.6ns memory (in-depth information here instead of the 2ns on the PRO which is good for a quoted 600MHz (or 1.2GHz DDR) and secondly we have a little sticker which says X800XT PE instead of X800PRO. The only other difference between the cards, while not physically is the higher core and memory speed as well as the inclusion of 16 pipelines instead of 12 which helps push more textures per clock cycle.
Now we've finished taking a look at both graphics cards from Gigabyte, let's continue on and check out the performance numbers.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Synthetic Gaming

Test System SetupProcessor(s): AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Motherboard(s): nVidia nForce 3 250GB reference (Supplied by nVidia)Memory: 1 X 512MB Kingmax PC4000 (Supplied by Kingmax)Hard Disk(s): Western Digital Raptor 36GB 10,000 RPMOperating System: Windows XP Professional SP1Drivers: ATI Catalyst 4.7 and DirectX 9.0cWe are going to be running the same group of tests as we did with the HIS X800PRO and X800XT PE. Everything from synthetic to real world gaming and normal quality to high quality is tested in our array of benchmarks. We have also included a quick benchmark of our maximum overclock on both cards using a splendid program called ATI Tool.We have also added in Doom 3 (in place of the aging CPU limited Comanche 4) for the first time and moved from the demo version of Unreal Tournament 2004 to the full version which is fully DX9 compatible. We can have a chance to see how these cards adapt to some of the more recent games now especially Doom 3 with the latest version of DirectX which is 9.0c that will be released very soon in Windows XP Service Pack 2, with a bunch of new features but most importantly support for Shader Model 3.0 - not that it will be important in this lot of benchmarks since the ATI cards don't currently support it.Let's get rocking!3DMark2001 SE3DMark2001 SE is a part of the popular 3DMark series. By combining DirectX 8.1 support with completely new graphics (including the GeForce4), it continues to provide benchmark results that empower you to make informed hardware assessments.
You can clearly see that the X800XT PE is a lot faster then the X800 Pro, with over 10% difference this is quite a nice little lead for the XT PE.3DMark 033DMark03 is the latest version of the highly favored 3DMark series. By combining full DirectX9.0 support with completely new tests and graphics, 3DMark03 continues the legacy of being industry standard 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.
3DMark 2003 is where these cards really begin to shine with over 10,000 3DMarks on a default run these scores are some that people could only dream of.Aquamark 3Aquamark3 is the latest installment of the Aquamark benchmark suite. This new benchmark is much more powerful and demands much more from both the system and the graphics card. If there is any weakness in the system or 3D components, Aquamark3 will find them.
We see a HUGE jump in Aquamark 3 between both cards; let's see how the performance carries over to our real world games.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 2004

Unreal Tournament 2004Unreal Tournament 2004 is the latest installment to the Unreal Tournament series. Using DirectX 9 the game has faced quite a big make over and is a lot more intensive then its predecessor.Editor Note: Yes, it is the full version!
You can see that the difference between both these cards are very minor so if you're a bit of a UT2K4 player you would easily get away with just the PRO, we will have to see how the game plays when we start playing with some AA and AF a little later on.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Jedi Knight 2

Jedi Knight IIJedi Knight II, Jedi Outcast is an OpenGL game that many have been playing of late. It has greatly improved graphics over its predecessor and it fully supports advanced shaders, as well as very high texture resolutions and effects. There is one demo included in the multi-player section that is good for benchmarking use.
Jedi Knight 2 has the worst CPU bottleneck we have seen in any game of late. Between both resolutions and both cards there is only a .1FPS adjustment across four separate benchmark runs. The CPU rules here.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Doom 3

Doom 3Doom 3 is the latest game to hit our test lab and is one of the most intensive games to dates. With our own custom time demo we are able to give a realistic rating on what kind of FPS you will be achieving.For more information on benchmarking Doom 3 we recommend you check out our extensive article here.
You can see that the X800XT is clearly faster then the X800PRO but with the 60FPS cap currently in Doom 3 there shouldn't really be a huge difference between both cards at 1024 X 768. When moving to the higher quality settings we may begin to see a difference.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Quake 3

Quake 3Quake III Arena is a real-world OpenGL benchmark that we have been using here at TweakTown for quite a while now because it has proven itself to be one of the best gaming benchmarks around to compare a wide range of different products. Quake III is getting very old, but is still one of the best ways of testing video and PC systems for any instabilities and best performance.
At 1024 X 768 both the cards are extremely similar, it's not until you move to 1600 X 1200 that you see a noticeable lead in the X800XT. With that said though at over 300FPS there is no way you could tell the difference in game no matter what settings you threw at the game.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - Far Cry

Far CryThere is no denying that Far Cry is currently one of the most graphic intensive games on the market, utilizing PS2.0 technology and offering an exceptional visual experience there is no denying that even some of the faster graphics cards struggle.
Similar to Quake 3 at 1024 X 768 we see both cards are very close to each other and it is not until we move to 1600 X 1200 that we see a difference in performance. The difference between these scores and Quake 3 are that the FPS are a lot lower and those extra 5FPS are going to help in game as the minimum FPS is going to be higher.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - High Quality Synthetics

High Quality SyntheticsAll tests were run with 6 times FSAA and 16 times Antistrophic Filtering enabled with the screen resolution set to 1024 X 768.When running these aggressive detail settings in 1600 x 1200, games really do become unplayable and if people are after image quality they will have to drop the resolution back down to reach playable levels. 1024x768 was chosen as it is still the preferred playable resolution with these settings enabled.3DMark 2001
3DMark 2003
You can clearly see across both synthetic tests, the X800XT PE is that much quicker. With AA and AF maxed our for all our HQ tests you really do get a chance to see the cards shine.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Benchmarks - High Quality Real World Gaming

High Quality Real World GamingAll tests were run with 6 times FSAA and 16 times Antistrophic Filtering enabled with the screen resolution set to 1024 X 768.When running these aggressive detail settings in 1600 x 1200, games really do become unplayable and if people are after image quality they will have to drop the resolution back down to reach playable levels. 1024x768 was chosen as it is still the preferred playable resolution with these settings enabled.Doom 3
With AA and AF maxed out you can clearly see that the X800XT PE is significantly faster then the X800 Pro. With a 15FPS difference between the cards, the low FPS rate on the X800XT PE isn't going to be as significant as the low FPS rate on the X800 Pro.Unreal Tournament 2004
UT2K4 like in our non HQ tests show that both the cards are performing right next to each other.Far Cry
Here in Far Cry we see a very similar picture as Doom 3 with the X800XT PE being a fair bit quicker. In the end this results to the XT PE giving greater smoothness across the board.

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Overclocking Performance

Overclocking PerformanceUsing ATI Tool we overclocked both of the cards to their maximum memory and core speed. We achieved a maximum overclock of 502MHz on the core and 468MHz (936MHz DDR) on the memory with the X800 Pro. The X800XT PE was able to overclock to an impressive 555MHz on the core and 589MHz (1196MHz DDR) on the memory.
While the jump wasn't huge you can see that by overclocking the cards we did see an actual increase in performance which will help you generate more frames per second in games. With a little bit more power on our processor we would be able to achieve a 20,000 point run on 3DMark 2001 with AA and AF maxed out - impressive!

Gigabyte X800PRO and X800XT PE - Conclusion

ConclusionWhile both cards look similar you can clearly see that the performance is difference truly there both cards. There is no denying that everyone is going to want an X800XT PE but with the memory shortage just announced on DDR 3 you might have to wait a little while. And looking at Deal Time, our price comparison tool, you can see the XT PE is going to cost you a good deal more than the PRO - around the $100 USD mark more depending on where you look.The X800XT PE would have to be the absolute best package we have seen so far from a graphics card. As we mentioned we receive 10 CDs with the X800XT PE package and there is a number of excellent games that we are sure people won't throw aside like we usually do with most packages.The X800PRO is also an excellent card but it really doesn't change all that much from the other packages we have seen except for the inclusion of maybe the extra game (2 instead of the 1 we get with others). While we haven't got a price on the Gigabyte X800XT PE, if it is only slightly more expensive then other X800XT PE it is going to be excellent value thanks to the massive amount of games that comes included within the package.- ProsBest X800 package we have seen (X800XT PE)Good overclocking performanceCooler with blue LEDExpected performance numbers- ConsX800XT PE shortage (not Gigabyte's fault)Massive box could make shipping more expensiveCombined Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editor's Choice Award

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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