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Appeared on: Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Connect 3D X850XT PE


1. Introduction

Connect3D X850 XT PE - 01 - Introduction

Connect3D is a manufacturer of graphics cards for the PC industry and a long time certified partner of ATI. From the Radeon 7000 to the latest X850 cards, Connect3D has always been present with competitive prices, top-notch products and excellent support.

Connect3D X850 XT PE

The X850 XT cards are powered by ATi's latest GPU codenamed R480. This new processor is here to replace the R430 on the X800 XT. So what we have here, is a new series of high-end cards that this time offer native PCI-Express support. Time has proved that the number of X800 XT and XT PE chipsets manufactured could not cover the public's demand, but this time ATi seems confident that this won't happen again.

- Packaging/Bundle

Connect3D ships the card in a relatively small package, similar to that of the X800 XT PE. The basic features, such as model type (XT Platinum Edition), 256MB GDDR3 and PCI-Express bus support are printed on the sticker found on the box.

Apart from the ATI Radeon Driver CD, you won't find any other software bundled with the X850 XT. However inside the box, you will find one VGA to DVI adaptor, one 9-pin HDTV cable, one S-Video cable, one composite RCA video cable, one 4-in-1 VIVO cable and finally an adapter for the new 12V power connector found on the card.


2. Features

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 02 - Features

Main Features
GPU Radeon X850 XT PE - R480
Memory Brand/Model Samsung K4J5532Q-GC16 (1.6ns)
Memory Type 256 MB 256-bit GDDR3
Engine Clock Speed 540MHz
Memory Clock Speed 590MHz
Memory Bandwidth 35.8 GB/sec
Pixel Pipelines 16
Vertex Pipelines 6
Fill rate 8.6 Giga pixels /sec
DX Support 9.0
OpenGL Support 1.5
Output VGA / DVI-I / D-Sub
Bus AGP 4X/8X
Processing technology 0.13 micron

As we mentioned earlier, Connect3D's X850 XT Platinum Edition is based on ATi's latest chipset, the R480. The R480 is not very different from the previous high end R430. It is also built using the 0.13 micron low-k fabrication process and still features 16 Pixel Pipelines and 6 parallel Vertex engines.

However, the GPU clock ticks at 540MHz (20MHz more than the X800 XT PE) while the memory clock's speed is set at 590MHz, thus reaching 1.18GHz effective frequency against 1.08MHz for the X800 XT PE.

Basically, that's all the difference you will get compared to an AGP X800 XT PE. As a result of the slightly higher clock speeds, the X850 XT PE offers increased fill rate and memory bandwidth which will in turn produce "slightly" increased performance.

Here's a table showing the differences between the X800 XT PE and the new X850 XT and XT PE:

X800 XT PE

X850 XT X850 XT PE
Core(MHz) 520 520 540
Memory(MHz) 560(1120) 540(1080) 590(1180)

 

X800=X850 Architecture

3Dc

To understand what 3Dc does, we need to quickly run through a brief discussion on normal maps.

You can think of a normal as an arrow pointing outwards from a surface at a 90 degree angle in order to quickly access its angle difference from different points of lighting.

First, a model with an extremely high polygon count is created (i.e 15,000 polygons) and then one with less (1,000 polygons) and that is the one that we'll eventually keep. Running a simple program calculates the differences between the two models and stores it as a normal map texture. Before rendering the final model in the game, the normal map texture is applied on the low polygon model and pixel shader instructions are used to compute real time lighting.

A quick example of Normal Mapping (not 3Dc!)

Normal mapping is greatly used in some of the most successful game titles of our days, like Far Cry, Half Life 2 and Doom 3. However, the problem with Normal mapping is the great limitation on the texture size due to the lack of compression.

To get a peek at what would happen if none of the textures were compressed in a recent game, try Doom 3 and set the details to Ultra High. As suggested by Id Software, Doom3's publisher, the Ultra High detail level requires a graphics card with 512Mb RAM. In case you're not really into the graphics card market, there is no card with 512Mb RAM, yet.

Such is the case with normal mapping. The current texture compression algorithms, DXTC and S3TC, are inapplicable on normal mapping textures as they produce block artifacts, so programmers usually avoid using them.

3Dc is the solution to this problem with an algorithm that splits up the texture into blocks. Then compressing each block, it is able to achieve up to 4:1 compression.

When using 3Dc you can get much better quality textures with the same performance from your card.

The bad thing about 3Dc is that we'll have to wait until the game developers incorporate it into their engines or release a patch that takes advantage of it. Ubisoft was supposed to be the first to include 3Dc support into their much awaited Far Cry patch 1.3. However, as we found out, there is no actual difference in the game despite the addition of the console command "EnableCompressedMaps".

 

SMARTSHADER™ HD

SMOOTHVISION™ HD
• 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
Sparse multi-sample algorithm with
gamma correction, programmable
sample patterns, and centroid sampling
Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1)
at all resolutions, including widescreen
HDTV resolutions
Temporal Anti-Aliasing
2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
- Up to 128-tap texture filtering per
AA sample
- Adaptive anisotropic filtering algorithm
with bilinear (performance) and trilinear
(quality) options

HYPER Z™ HD
• 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
• Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear
• Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
• Optimized for performance at high display
resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions

VIDEOSHADER™ HD
• Seamless integration of pixel shaders and video in
real time
• FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology for
Real, DivX, WMV9 and WMV10 formats
• VIDEOSOAP™ noise removal filtering for captured
video
• MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration
DXVA support
Hardware Motion Compensation, iDCT, DCT and
color space conversion
• All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
• Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate
Conversion (temporal filtering)


3. A closer look

Connect3D X850 XT PE - 03 - A closer look

In spite of the architecture of the X850XT PE being very similar to that of the X800XT PE, the look of the card has drastically changed.

The front side of the card.(click for hi-res).

A new cooling solution has been used to ensure it can handle the higher clock speeds of the core and memory modules.

The back side of X850 XT PE(click for hi-res)

 

Air flows in...

 

and out of the case...

The new fansink solution has a major drawback. Just like Nvidia, ATi could no longer hold the size of the card to a single slot and as you see in the picture above, in order to install the X850 XT you have to sacrifice a second PCI slot.

Removing the fan exposes the R480 core.

 

The new power connector

Another thing that has changed on the X850 XT PE board is the new PCI-Express power socket. It seems the 75W that the PCI-Express bus supports is not enough for the card and it needs some extra power to operate correctly. Inside the packaging you will find an adaptor to connect your power supply with the card.

(An interesting article can be found at Spode's Abode : How to make a PCI-E Power Connector )

The adaptor cable is included in the package.

 

Two DVI outputs and a single D-sub found on the card's rear

 

The ATI Rage Theater chip

4. Test System

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 04 - Test System

Processor: Intel P4 3.0GHz L775
Case: Antec 1080AMG
Motherboard: Gigabyte 8I915P Duo Pro
Memory: 2x512MB OCZ PC-4200 Memory
Hard Disk Drive: WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM
CD-RW: LiteOn LTR-52246S
PowerSupply: Levicom 500Watt
Microsoft WindowsXP Pro SP2
DirectX v9.0c



Benchmarking Software
3DMark05,03,01
Codecreatures Benchmark Pro
AquaMark3 v3.0
ATiTool 0.0.23
Farcry v1.3
CounterStrike Source
Doom 3
Thief 3
Ground Control II


5. 3DMark05

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 05 - 3DMark05

With 3DMark05, Futuremark continues the tradition in its benchmarking software by providing a state-of-the-art Microsoft ® DirectX ® 9 3D performance benchmark.
3DMark05 is an all new 3DMark version taking the most out of Microsoft's DirectX 9. The previous version 3DMark03, did a nice introduction into this level of technology. However 3DMark03 used DirectX 9 specific features in a limited manner, because fully supporting hardware was rare at the time of its launch. In contrast, 3DMark05 requires DirectX 9 hardware with full support for at least Shader Model 2, and takes shader usage to never before seen levels.
Just like its predecessors, 3DMark05's point system is set so that at the moment of release, the high-end VGA cards available in stores can only score around 5000 3DMarks, whereas the worst card that meets the programs requirements yields a score of 1000.

Game Test 1 -Return to Proxycon

Being the sequel to the "Battle of Proxycon" from 3DMark03, in "Return to Proxycon" we're once again set in space and the battle continues as space pirates invade a cargo ship in order to take control of its valuable cargo.

 

 

This test, tries to simulate a future first-person shooter game with all the high details that entails. The dynamic shadows, high-detailed environment and advanced lighting techniques ensure that under normal circumstances, no recent card can run it with decent frame rates.

The Connect3D X850 XT PE almost doubles the framerates of mid-end cards like the 6600GT and X700pro.

Game Test 2 – Firefly Forest

A forest gets filled with magic fireflies in the night. The moon is nearly full, illuminating the forest with a bluish faint light. The magic fireflies have flickering bright green lights that playfully move around the forest.

This scene is a nice example of a smaller scale outdoor scene with rich vegetation. Immediate visibility is not so far, and there is a skybox surrounding the whole scene.

A large number of trees with their branches swinging separately, and dense vegetation being dynamically distributed according to the camera movements, make this test the most demanding of the three.

 

In GT2 - Firefly forest, even though the scene seems to be running smoothly with the X850 XT PE, the average framerate is actually lower than 20fps. Still, the two mid-range cards can't do any better than 10fps.

Game Test 3 – Canyon Flight

A Jules Verne type airship flies through a canyon guarded by a dangerous sea monster. The airmen defend their ship using heavy cannons, but these seem to have no effect on the huge sea monster. Finally the crew manages a narrow escape using the ‘last resort’ afterburners of the airship.

This scene is fairly complex with large areas of water reflecting the high canyon walls. The water actually is one of the key points of interest in this scene. The water not only does realistic looking reflections and refractions, it has a depth fog, making the sea monster swimming under the airship actually look deep down in the water. The air in this scene also uses
a volumetric fog, making distant cliffs of the canyon really look far away.

 

The Connect3D X850's framerate is the second highest we have seen in this benchmark, after the X800 XT PE. The card's processing power pitted against GT3 is obvious, resulting in almost 30 frames per second.

Final Score

 3DMarks on 3DMark05 are now calculated by the following formula:

(Game Test 1 * Game Test 2 * Game Test 3)^0.33 * 250

That’s basically the geometric mean of the total frames in each game multiplied by 250. This means that all game tests are now equal.
Let’s see our results for the X850XT:

With 5785 3DMarks for the final 3DMark05 score, the X850XT PE shows that it is not very different from an X800 XT PE card.


6. 3DMark 2003

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 06 - 3DMark 2003

3D Mark is a widely used and accepted benchmark that stresses the DirectX performance of a VGA card. A very strong point of 3DMark is that it's VGA card measuring is does not require any CPU power. So the resulting fps are a good reference a VGA card's rendering performance. For testing the performance of each card we used the 4 game benchmarks 3DMark has.

3Dmark03 also includes sound and CPU tests as well as some other feature tests.

- Game Test 1 - Wings of Fury (DX7)
This test is a combat flight simulator written for older hardware (DirectX 7). Particles are used a lot in this test - smoke and vapor trails, flak and gunfire, and explosions are produced using point sprites and quads.

- Game Test 2 - Battle of Proxycon (DX8)
This test is a simulation of first person shooter game types. 1.1 and 1.4 Vertex shaders are widely used since all character models are skinned using vertex shaders.This makes this test a good vertex shader comparison for VGA cards.


- Game Test 3 - Trolls' Lair (DX8)
This test should be the favorite of all RPG lovers. It is a cut scene of a female warrior facing two malicious trolls. Again the same vertex and pixel processing is used as in game test 2.

This test also uses post-processing effects, such as Depth of Field and Bloom effects which are widely used in today's game cut scene sequences.

- Game Test 4 - Mother Nature (DX9)
Mother nature represents the level of effects and realism that are possible using 2.0 vertex and pixel shaders, plus some other features that DirectX 9 offers.

The game tests here show the power of the X850XT. The framerate never dropped below 30fps, not even for a second in GT4 which contains the most demanding scene of this quartet of tests.

- 3DMark Official score

If you test your machine with 3DMark, you can post the results at 3DMark' online result browser. For more information visit futuremark.com.

The X850XT obviously had no problems reaching 12.000 3dmarks, leaving the X700 and 6600GT more than 5000 3dmarks behind.


7. Aquamark3 / 3DMark 2001

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 07 - Aquamark3 / 3DMark 2001

Since the majority of today's applications and games are compatible with DirectX 9, the need of benchmark applications that use DX 9 has been brought up. The benchmark uses the 3D engine (Krass engine) of the Aquanox game.

Aquamark Triscore

The Aquamark Triscore comprises 3 values: the overall system performance, the performance of the graphics system and the CPU performance. Keep in mind that this is not the total result of the tests, but the result of the whole benchmark process including all 9 chapters.

3DMark 2001

3DMark 2001 is the predecessor to 3DMark03. It's mainly a directx8.1 benchmark and the score depends a lot on the CPU power of your computer. However for reference use only we decided it'd be best to just leave it in our benchmark list so you can compare the next generation cards with the possibly outdated you have at home.


8. Codecreatures
Connect 3D X850XT PE - 08 - Codecreatures

CodeCreatures is a synthetic 3D benchmark that is a good reference for VGA performance comparison. This is a high-end 3D benchmark that also requires DirectX 8 hardware, making a good tool for measuring the potential of DirectX 8 game performance.

The Codecreatures benchmark is written with Microsoft's DirectX 8.1 API and incorporates the use of Vertex and PixelShaders popular on next generation 3D accelerators.

The benchmark plays a photo-realistic nature scene and calculates the performance of the graphics adapter by measuring the fps that it can display at 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 resolutions.

 

 

-Codecreatures number

The codecreatures number is the resulting score of the total benchmarking process and is basically the geometric mean of the three framerates multiplied by 100.

Once again, the X850 from Connect3d edged out the lower class X700pro and 6600GT by at least 2200 in codecreatures.


9. Half life 2

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 09 - Half life 2

Half life 2 is no doubt the most anticipated pc game of all times. Gamers keeping the excellence of Half Life 1 in their mind as well as the remarkable E3 demo preview, have been anxiously waiting for the much delayed release of HL2.

Regarding the storyline, the player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people he cares about are counting on him.

Characters - Advanced facial animation system delivers the most sophisticated in-game characters ever seen. With 40 distinct facial "muscles," human characters convey the full array of human emotion, and respond to the player with fluidity and intelligence.

Physics - From pebbles to water to 2-ton trucks respond as expected, as they obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity, and buoyancy.

Graphics - Source’s shader-based renderer, like the one used at Pixar to create movies such as Toy Story® and Monster's, Inc.®, creates the most beautiful and realistic environments ever seen in a video game.

AI - Neither friends nor enemies charge blindly into the fray. They can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain, and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand.

To measure performance we used the Video Stress Test(VST) that is available in the CounterStrike:Source beta available through Steam. We set all the details to the highest level and each time changed the resolution from 800x600 up to 1600x1200.

 

 

800x600 is too low for benchmarking such cards and all seem bound by our CPU. However, by increasing the resolution, the benchmark becomes more demanding and each card's true power begins to show. The X850XT PE from Connect3D could handle all resolutions perfectly and even at 1600x1200, it kept the framerate above 110fps.

Enabling the 3D quality options (Anisotropic Filtering and Anti Aliasing) for Half Life 2, for yet one more time the X850 doesn't seem to mind. Compared to the 6600GT and X700pro, it clearly stands out as these two drop to 30frames per second at 1600x1200 where the Connect3d card kept the average at 90fps.


10. Doom 3

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 10 - Doom 3

A massive demonic invasion has overwhelmed the Union Aerospace Corporations? (UAC) Mars Research Facility leaving only chaos and horror in its wake. As one of the few survivors, you struggle with shock and fear as you fight your way to Hell and back, in an epic clash against pure evil.

Activision made it's miracle again with Doom 3 which is said to be the best-looking game ever, thanks to the brand-new OpenGL graphics engine used to generate its convincingly lifelike, densely atmospheric, and surprisingly expansive environments. If you are a fan of the previous Doom games then you will get many flashbacks with this revision, since you will find reimagined versions of almost every monster from both Doom and Doom II.

To measure performance on the game we used the timedemo demo1 command from the console (Alt+Ctrl+~).
Enabling the high quality setting and executing the timedemo demo1 command twice for each resolution, we witnessed the following:

First, without the Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering settings enabled, we got the following results:

Here, the X850 becomes once again CPU bound at 800x600 and keeps performance at this level no matter the resolution.

Enabling Anisotropic Filtering and Anti Aliasing, performance is still excellent and gameplay only begins to be a little jerky at 1600x1200 where the card can't offer more than 40frames per second.


11. Far Cry

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 11 - Far Cry

You are Jack Carver running your own boat charter business in beautiful Micronesia. With a past best left behind you, you'll be focusing on your present assignment: escorting an ambitious journalist named Valerie Cortez to the Island of Cabatu. It seems like a piece of cake, but you'll soon learn: paradise can be hell.

Farcry is an awesome First Person Shooter (FPS) based on a last generation 3D engine named as CryEngine. Real-time editing, bump-mapping, static lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features that the CryEngine offers.

A great advantage and strong point of the CryEngine is its physics system which supports character inverse kinematics, vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, rag doll, cloth and body effects. All physics seem to be very realistic and you never get bored when facing enemies, since character models have multiple animations that blend in believable ways.

With an integrated shader system and a massive terrain which maximizes the view distance to 2km, these features make Farcry a perfect action game and also a referable benchmark to speak of.

- Benchmark Settings

For this game we recorded a custom demo from the start of the Rebellion stage. We chose an indoor scene in order to avoid getting the "CPU bound" effect. This will result in slightly higher results since it is also less GPU intensive, but we can't afford being stuck at 40-50 fps because of our CPU.

The latest patch (1.3) was used for our tests which updates the game's graphics engine to use the 3.0 Shader model. This option is only supported for the 6800 series.

The resolutions we ran the demo under, are as follows: 800x600,1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. The first test was committed with Anti Aliasing (AA) and Anisotropic Filtering (AF) features off. In the second test, we leveled up AA to 4x and AF to 8x. All tests were taken with Jack's flashlight on, to increase the game's demands from the graphics cards and with ai_update_interval set to zero so that the results is subjective.

Far Cry is no longer a holdback for cards like this. At the highest resolution we got 74fps unlike the 6600GT and X700pro which dropped their performance to around 30fps.

Increasing the quality of the game with AF and AA, the X850 XT PE is still able to deliver an average of 60fps at 1600x1200. However, in order to get gameplay performance, 1280x1024 is the best option.


12. Thief 3

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 12 - Thief 3

Instead of Deus Ex from now on we’ll be testing our cards using Thief 3. It’s based on the same engine but it’s much less GPU intensive and playable by more VGA cards than Deus.

The game makes severe use of Pixel Shader 1.1 instructions, the bloom effect and stencil shadows to achieve a wonderful result in your screen.

In the game you play the part of Master Thief Garrett who is back to rule out any evil forces using his unique stealth abilities. Deadly Shadows shows what stealth gameplay is all about. This game really gives you the feel of sneaking around and holding your breath when stuck in a sticky situation.

Since there is no official benchmark for the game, we’ll do our tests using a GPU intensive scene from the tutorial-level which we believe that represents the average fps you’ll get when playing the game.

 

 

 

Thief 3 is an excellent challenge for the X850 XT. All lower class cards failed to provide stable perfomance with this benchmark when selecting full details from the settings menu. The Connect3D card still had trouble producing enough frames per second but at least it came up with 40fps at 1280x1024 which is the most appropriate resolution with this card in order to enjoy the game.

Enabling 4x Multisampling and 8x Anisotropic filtering makes the game unplayable at high resolutions with the majority of the cards. This is also the case with the X850XT PE from Connect3d. The best resolution seems to be 1024x768.


13. Colin McRae 05

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 13 - Colin McRae 05

For all you racing fans out there, this test is for you and will represent the Racing game category in our benchmarks.

From the graphics point of view the first thing you’ll notice in the game is the excellent amount detail of your racing car. High resolution textures on the car and lighting make it quite impressive. All the eye candy such as the sun reflection in the virtual camera are still the same as the older CM versions but motion blur has been added when your card hits something hard which will happen most often if you're new to the racing simulation world.

To measure performance on the game we used fraps to get the average fps of the whole 8th stage of UK which is actually the only stage you get to play on the demo.

This is a really nice example of the CPU bound effect we get from time to time. No matter the resolution we chose, the framerate we got was exactly 99fps. Our Intel P4 running at 3.0GHz is unable to handle more.

Even with the highest quality settings, performance is still excellent but still stuck at 97fps. However, this is not the case with the X700 Pro and 6600GT. These two cards start dropping their performance gradually, whereas the X850 only drops by 22fps at 1600x1200. So the game is best enjoyed with the X850XT PE at: 1600x1200.


14. Ground Control II

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 14 - Ground Control II

Ground Control 2 is an action-oriented game of tactics and warfare. As Captain Jacob Angelus of the Northern Star Alliance, you will command squads of infantry, artillery, and airpower against the might of the Empire of Terra. Base building and resource-collecting are replaced with unit control and combat tactics where your knowledge of the battlefield maneuvers will make the difference in your fight against a ruthless enemy. Position your troops on hilltops for better aim or inside buildings and forests for protection as you’ll need to use every inch of terrain to your advantage. Call in air strikes or assault pods to bring the battle behind enemy lines. Send out scouts to locate the enemy and use spotters for your artillery with the 360° free-roaming camera. Experience the total immersion of futuristic warfare as you lead your forces to victory!

 

For our benchmarks, we used the highest possible settings on the first mission of the single player game and moved around the camera to get an average framerate using fraps.

Ground Control II offers really impressive graphics without requiring much GPU power. Click on the picture above to view a screenshot from the game. Check out these excellent water effects!

You can see from the chart that the X850XT encourages you to try out the game with Anisotropic Filtering and Anti Aliasing enabled as the fps we got were a high under all resolutions.

Setting AA to 4x and AF to 8x, the perfornance drop is quite big. However, the Connect3D card still holds its place and provides more than 30fps even under 1600x1200.


15. Overclocking

Connect 3D X850 XT PE- 15 - Overclocking

No matter your graphics card, there comes a time in your computer's life when it can no longer cope with the latest technology the ever so popular games use. This is one of the main reasons for overclocking your graphics card. Gamers are always looking forward for a little extra boost in terms of framerate. Even though most of the times the boost is far from noticeable, overclocking remains the last resort when you can't afford to buy a brand new VGA card.

Increasing the memory clock too much,
produces the so-called "artifacts".

The default clock speeds of the Connect3D X800XT PE are 540MHz for the core and 590MHz for the memory. The memory clock was already set high so we didn't expect it to increase too much.

The highest stable settings we could achieve

To our suprize, we couldn't overclock the memory at all, not even by 5MHz without losing the card's stability. So using ATITool 0.0.23 (which is the first version to support the new X850 cards), we only succeeded in overclocking the card's core up to 560MHz and 590MHz (1.18GHz) respectively.

Let's see the performance boost we got from these extra 20MHz.

The difference in the games is not noticeable. As a result, it is not advisable to clock the Connect3D's X850XT PE any higher than it is already.

One more thing about the fan system on the X850 XT, the fan's speed is set by the card's BIOS on boot at 4% of its maximum value. We tried setting the fan to 100% in case the card could clock a bit higher.

However, the fan when running at full speed is incredibly noisy and annoying so we switched it back.


16. Conclusion

Connect 3D X850XT PE - 16 - Conclusion

The performance of the Connect3D X850XT PE is no doubt, excellent. The X850XT PE is rightfully the new flagship of ATi. It had no problems achieving great framerates in both benchmark applications and games, even with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on. On the other hand, the card has no new exciting features to add to the graphics card market.

Right now, the Connect3D X850 XT PE costs around US$600. The cost compared to the US$500 you'd normally have to pay for an X800 XT PE (AGP version) seems too much as there is no real difference in performance between them to justify the cost. Maybe the plain X850 XT is better value for your money but still, the Platinum Edition version is the fastest product ATi has to offer and that tends to add a little to the card's price on the market.

Overclocking the X850 XT PE proved to be pointless. None of the benchmarks we ran showed any actual in-game difference as the card's clocks were already set at the highest level possible. The extra 20MHz we got on the core clock only increased the benchmark results by 1 to 3 fps.

 

Pros:
-Excellent performance with most of the game tests.
-Reasonably quiet fan operation.

Cons:
-Very expensive
-No software bundle

Performance:
Value for money:
Overclocking:
Bundle:


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