Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL

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It has been a little over two months since we first got to play with ATI's Radeon X800 XL, and we have now begun to receive retail products based on this eagerly anticipated GPU in the HotHardware labs.  For those unfamiliar with the Radeon X800 XL, it is a .11 micron GPU, with 16 pixel pipelines, 6 hardware vertex shaders and all of the other features found in ATI's X8xx series of products.  We've covered the technology behind the Radeon X800 series of GPUs in detail in this article, and our original X800 XL coverage can be found right here. If you'd like to get more familiar with ATI's current flagship GPU architecture, we suggested reading those two articles; they'll fill you in on all of the pertinent details. For now though, let's get acquainted with the first retail X800 XL to arrive, the Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL.

This card's specifications mirror those of ATI's reference card, but there are some minor aesthetic differences that we'll cover a bit later.  Sapphire also bundles their cards with a different assortment of software titles and accessories than ATI's own cards.  Check it out...

      
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Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL (PCI Express)
Features & Specifications

ATi Radeon X800 XL
_400MHz engine
_.11 micron
_1.0GHz memory data rate
_256-bit memory interface
_256MB GDDR3 memory
_16 pixel pipes
_6 vertex pipes
_6.4 Gigapixel/second fill rate
_32GB/s Peak Memory Bandwidth
_HYPER Z support for HD resolutions including Hierarchical Z, color and Z compression
_Hierarchical Z and Early Z
_Z Compression
_Fast Z Clear
_Z/Stencil Cache

Six Vertex Engines
_Workstation class vertex processing power
_600 million polygon transforms per second
_5.7 billion vertex shader operations per second
_Workstation-class performance

High-detail Geometry
_Designed for next-gen games with massive polygon counts
_Allows huge numbers of characters on screen at once
_High definition foliage and particle effects

3Dc Compression Technology
_Lossless Normal Map Compression
_4:1 Normal Map Compression technology

Smart Shader HD
_Long pixel shaders
_1536 instructions per pass
_High-detail geometry shaders
_Infinite length shaders (multipass via F-buffer)
_Single pass trig functions (Sine & Cosine)

SmoothVision HD
_Sparse sample pattern AA with gamma correction
_Temporal AA (up to 12X effective)
_Centroid AA
_16X Anisotropic filtering with adaptive heuristics

HyperZ HD
_Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including HDTV resolutions
_Lossless z-buffer compression (up to 48:1)
_Rejects up to 256 occluded pixels per clock
_Up to 32 Z/stencil operations/clock

VideoShader HD
_High-quality video processing & acceleration
_Real-time user programmable video effects
_Video post processing and filtering
_MPEG 1, 2, 4 encode and decode acceleration
_FULLSTREAM Video Deblocking
_WMV9 decode acceleration
_High-quality resolution scaling
_Adaptive Per Pixel Deinterlacing
_Motion Compensation
_Noise removal filtering
_Display Rotation

 


      

Sapphire included a well balanced array of software and accessories with their Hybrid Radeon X800 XL. The software titles bundled with the card included two full-version games, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora tomorrow, Cyberlink's popular PowerDVD DVD playback software, and Sapphire's own proprietary RedLine overclocking / tweaking utility. A driver CD was also included with the card, along with a complete user's manual, and a few cables and adapters (a DVI-to-DB15 adapter, an S-Video-to-Composite adapter, component output cables, a composite video cable, and an S-Video cable).

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