ATI Radeon X1800 GTO - HotHardware

ATI Radeon X1800 GTO

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Just a few short years ago, the graphics card industry was largely driven strictly by the innovations and technological developments made at the flagship GPU level. For the majority of users who cannot either afford or justify the cost of a top of the line graphics card, the industry was painfully boring, as the latest and greatest features typically took a generation or more to trickle down to mainstream and performance GPU segments. Fortunately, years later we find a dramatically different competitive landscape on the graphics card front, as today's mainstream and performance segment GPU's are equipped with the technology and features that would annihilate flagship GPU's from a few short generations ago.

In keeping with this recent trend, ATI is announcing the launch of their new Radeon X1800 GTO graphics card. With an MSRP of $249, this new model is essentially a modified Radeon X1800 XL GPU with fewer pipelines and ROPs. Here, we see a slight decrease from 16 pipelines down to 12 as well as a drop in ROPs from 16 to 8. Each GPU is equipped with 8 vertex shaders however as ATI has chosen to keep those resources intact for optimum performance. Looking at these basic specifications, it is certainly impressive to think that this is a $249 graphics card that has all of the features and functionality of the Radeon X1800 series of GPU's.


ATI Radeon X1800 GTO
Features & Specifications
Features - ATI Radeon X1800
• 321 million transistors on a 90nm fabrication process
•Ultra-threaded architecture with fast dynamic branching
•Sixteen pixel shader processors
•Eight vertex shader processors
•256-bit 8-channel GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
•Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
•Dynamic Voltage Control

Ring Bus Memory Controller
• 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
•Programmable intelligent arbitration logic
•Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
•Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
•Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
•Fast Z-Buffer Clear
•Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
•Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions

Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
• Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
•Full speed 128-bit floating point processing for all shader operations
•Up to 512 simultaneous pixel threads
•Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic branching and flow control
•Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency
•3Dc+ texture compression
_o High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel data formats
_o High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and single-channel data formats
•Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
•Render to vertex buffer support
•Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL 2.0

Advanced Image Quality Features
• 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
•32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
•2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
_o Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
_o New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and Quality modes
_o Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode
_o Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
•2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
_o Up to 128-tap texture filtering
_o Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options
•High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k)
• Multi-GPU technology
•Four modes of operation:
_o Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance)
_o Supertiling (optimal load-balancing)
_o Scissor (compatibility)
_o Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality)
_o Program compliant

Avivo Video and Display Engine
• High performance programmable video processor
_o Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding (including DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray playback), encoding & transcoding
_o DXVA support
_o De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
_o Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion
_o Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
_o 3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion)
•Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
•HDR tone mapping acceleration
_o Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output
•Flexible display support
_o Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
_o DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready
_o Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
_o 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
_o Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
_o Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
_o High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
_o Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
_o Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output
_o YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
_o Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays
_o Fast, glitch-free mode switching
_o VGA mode support on all outputs
•Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including Theater 550

ATI Radeon X1800 GTO


The reference card we tested was not visibly discernable from any single-slot X1800 cards we've had in the labs and was designated with a green "Non-Qualification Sample" sticker. Here, the same copper-based heatpipe heatsink assembly was charged with keeping the core at a reasonable temperature. In practice, this cooler did an excellent job and maintained very reasonable noise levels throughout testing. Moving our attention towards the side bracket of the card, we find two dual-link DVI headers. Those aiming to drive hefty 30" LCD's the likes of Apple's Cinema Display or Dell's 30" behemoth, can rest easy, as this card has the horsepower, in addition to the proper connectivity to do so.

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