As you would expect with the increased core and memory speed, the EVO sees a good performance increase over the stock clocked PowerColor X800GT and it's nice to see something new with a graphics card. Although this setup which PowerColor has chosen isn't anything all that special as anyone could do the same thing with ease themselves thanks to the Tide Water being so easy to setup - essentially PowerColor has just taken a ThermalTake cooler and added it to their package. With PCI slots becoming rarer with PCI Express motherboards some people are trying to grab as many as they can and in one swoop the Tide Water takes two of them away from you.
When comparing the overclock we received from the stock PowerColor X800GT, the EVO combined with the Tide Water offers a better one although it isn't amazing. The Tide Water solution we feel would better benefit from some more higher-end cards like the GTO version which offers 12 pipelines as opposed to the crippled 8 we find on the GT. It just seems like PowerColor should have done what they've done with the Radeon X800GTO, to us anyway.
While the idea of combining the Tide Water and GT together is a good idea in theory there are a few options that would be better. Like we mentioned the solution would be better suited for a card like the X800GTO. One gripe that we really have though with the EVO isn't that it's been put on a GT core, it is that they have gone to the effort to cool the core so well yet leave the memory bare. Hopefully we see on a later model some memory sinks installed on the DDR3, as it just doesn't make sense why they didn't spend a tiny bit extra on each card and include memory cooling - it's a special edition card, so it should have everything covered - literally!
While the package is the same as the standard X800GT from PowerColor, it really should be slightly increased for a more special edition version. We like the thinking behind what PowerColor have done, just execution wasn't so good.
Stock performance is good
Warranted water cooling
Easy to install
Noisy at high RPM
You'll lose two PCI slots
Package is light
Overclocking disappointing for water
Memory heatsinks not included!
Rating - 7 out of 10
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