Sapphire ATI Radeon X1800 XL
- New design keeps everything flowing smoothly, Optimised Z-buffer and pixel shaders
- Doesn't fare so well against its direct rivals
The X1800 XL ships with some slick new structural improvements, but this doesn't translate to a much improved performance.
Price$ 860.00 (AUD)
ATI looks to be teeing up its latest batch of graphics chips so here's a little glimpse of what the new-look Radeons promise to deliver. Enter the X1800 XL, which opens the door to an entirely new ATI architecture.
Most of the new technology revolves around increasing efficiency. For example, the way memory is used has been comprehensively rejigged. In ATI's new design, the memory controller receives a lot of support from the rest of the card, thus allowing it to keep everything flowing more smoothly. The Z-buffer (which stops the card from drawing unnecessary pixels) has been optimised - ATI reckons the system catches 50 to 60 percent more than before - and pixel shaders are more carefully handled as well.
So with these improvements, plus the Avivo functions for boosting video and display output, you've got a pretty irresistible package, right? Well, we wouldn't exactly go that far.
The new architecture may be extremely efficient, but this didn't really show up in our tests. Visually it was pretty much on a par with its biggest rival, the GeForce 7800 GT, but only in Splinter Cell did it produce any real performance advantage - and that was rarely more than 3fps (frames per second). It moved ahead on Half-Life 2 by little more than a frame, and fell behind in both Far Cry and Doom3 - dramatically, in the case of the latter. The X1800 tended to fare less well as you stacked up the detail settings.
The X1800 XL has some very nice features and the drivers have a level of programmability that mean its performance could improve markedly in coming months. In the meantime, though, it is difficult for us to recommend.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 2 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 3 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 4 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 5 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia's new $200 GeForce GTX 1060 3GB challenges the Radeon RX 480 head-on
- Corsair and MSI team up on a liquid-cooled, overclocked GeForce GTX 1080
- AMD's new SSG Technology blends an SSD with a GPU?!
- AMD packs 1TB SSD into a GPU for better VR and gaming
- AMD's Radeon Pro WX GPUs can create VR content for under $1,000
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTContracts ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160826/AP/972Asia
- FTWeb Analytics SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - TaxVIC
- CCImplementation and Deployment ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Change Analyst, WealthNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (JAVA/MySQL/PHP) 160819/SA/173Asia
- CCETL DeveloperACT
- FTPrincipal Business Consultant- Wealth ManagementNSW
- CCSenior Security Specialist - McAfeeVIC
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Datacentre Maintenance) 160817/SA/993Asia
- CCProject Manager, Infrastructure Migration, AWS CloudNSW
- CCSenior Manager - Infrastructure Supply ChainNSW
- CCStorage / Server EngineerNSW
- CCManager Architecture Practice Lead (Infrastructure Architect)NSW
- CCQuality AnalystNSW
- CCSystem Analyst - NetIQNSW
- CCSystems Analyst (IT Security/Network & Systems) 160826/SA/652Asia
- CCProgram Director, Cyber Security TransformationNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Cognos/JAVA/J2EE) 160831/SA/122Asia
- CCFull stack Java Developer- NoSQL database, Amazon AWS productsNSW
- CCSolution Architect, Funds Management, Part time roleNSW
- CCIT Program Manager - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTPython Data EngineerWA