Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 Limited Edition

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Every once in a while a product comes along that really garners the attention of the enthusiast crowd.  There can be a number of factors for this, including overclocking performance, easy modding potential or just an overall great value for the money.  One such piece of hardware that encompasses a lot of these qualities is the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 Limited Edition graphics card.  The X800GTO2 LE has begun to make waves thanks to many of the aforementioned qualities above. 

Sporting such features as Dual-DVI, VIVO and 256MB of GDDR3 RAM, the X800GTO2 is a capable card that has a few other surprises to whet your tweaking appetite.  First, unlike the X800's that are normally based on ATI's R430 core, the X800GTO2 has an R480 at its heart; the same GPU found on Radeon X850 cards.  Additionally, when you look at the various X800GTO2 cards listed on the Sapphire website, the line that reads "specifications may vary" can be a positive.  While typically X800GTO cards ship with 12-Pixel Pipelines, the X800GTO2 Limited Edition comes with 16-Pixel Pipelines enabled right out of the box.  Top this off with some overclocking, and the X800GTO2 can end up exceeding the performance of an X850 XT Platinum Edition.

With a little effort, the Sapphire Radeon X800XGTO2 LE can offer high-end performance, better than any X8xx series card currently available, including the X850 XT Platinum Edition, but for considerably less money.  Furthermore, Sapphire includes a Game DVD with the "Limited Edition" model that includes vouchers for free versions of several top gaming titles, adding even more value to this already impressive product.

Specifications of the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 LE
The Two Means "Squared"
Technology Features
* Radeon X800GTO2 (R480) VPU @ 400MHz
* 256MB of GDDR3 memory @ 980MHz
* 256-bit memory interface
* 16 parallel pixel pipelines
* PCI Express x16 lane native support
* Dual-DVI display support
* Dual integrated 400MHz DAC's
* 2048x1536 @ 85Hz Maximum Resolution
* S-Video TV-out port
* Full support for DirectX 9.0 and the latest OpenGL 2.0 functionality
* SMARTSHADER HD technology
* SMOOTHVISION HD technology
* 3Dc High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression delivers beautiful scenes without the performance hit.
* Unique VIDEOSHADER HD engine uses programmable pixel shaders to accelerate video processing and provide better-looking visuals
* HYPER Z HD is optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions


SMARTSHADER HD
Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shaders
Vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
DirectX 9.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
Up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
2nd generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
32 temporary and constant registers
Facing register for two-sided lighting
128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL via extensions

3Dc
High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression

Works with any two-channel data format
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 to6:1)at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
Temporal Anti-Aliasing
2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
Up to 128-tap texture filtering
Adaptive 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 resolution

VIDEOSHADER HD
Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
FULLSTREAM video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 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
YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
Dual integrated display controllers
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
Windows Logo Program compliant
CATALYST Software Suite

The retail bundle of the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 Limited Edition is compact, yet offers everything needed to take full advantage of the hardware's feature set.  The Setup CD includes a relatively current version of ATI's Catalyst drivers, although we always recommend downloading the latest versions from ATI.  Additionally, Sapphire includes a free overclocking tool called Trixx, that has an easy to understand interface while offering temperature readings, custom overclocking profiles and one-click updates.  The package also comes with a PCI Express power adapter, 15-pin DVI to VGA adapter, S-Video and Composite cabling as well as VIVO and HDTV display cabling.

            

  

The real icing on the cake with this product is the Sapphire Select DVD which includes trial versions of Brother's In Arms - Road to Hill 30, Prince of Persia - Warrior Within, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and Richard Burns Rally.  Topping things off, the CD case is stamped with a voucher that instantly unlocks the games to full version copies at no additional charge.  Considering these are popular titles that reach a broad audience of gamers, we think this is a great accent to an already promising product.

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