The Card & Its Proprietary Utilities
As we mentioned earlier, Abit didn't simply stamp out a "cookie-cutter" Radeon X800 XL. The card pictured below may be powered by the same GPU and memory as other 512MB Radeon X800 XL cards, but the similarities stop there. The Abit Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB is unique in a couple of different ways...
First, let's get some of the particulars out of the way. In one configuration, the 16-pipeline Radeon X800 XL GPU at the core of the Fatal1ty X800 XL is clocked at 400MHz (our sample's actual clock was 398MHz), with its 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 980MHz (986MHz on our sample). That gives the card a peak fillrate of 6.3GPixels/s with a maximum of 31.5GB/s of memory bandwidth.
The GPU is cooled by a copper-finned heatsink, with a lighted fan that's equipped with a handful of blinking red LEDs, that flash when the system is powered up. If you find the blinking annoying though, it can be disabled using Abit's vGuru software. The RAM on the front and back of the card are passively cooled as well by individual copper heatsinks mounted to each individual chip. The backplate houses a single DVI output, along with a single analog DB-15 output, an S-Video output, and a unique, little, red button.
Note, that in the last paragraph we said, "in one configuration". The main feature that sets the Abit Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB apart from the other video cards is that little, red button on the backplate. With a simple re-boot and a push of that button, a second BIOS mounted on the card takes over, and overclocks the GPU and memory to 419MHz and 1094MHz, respectively. For those into the numbers, that's a 5% boost to the GPU's clock speed, and an 11% boost to the memory. Abit calls this technology "xTurbo". We call it an innovative feature and hope Abit continues to think outside the box.
The "tweak-ability" of the Abit Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB doesn't stop with that red button, however. Abit also bundles their vGuru utility with this card, which gives uses control over a host of the Fatal1ty's attributes. With the vGuru software, users can overclock (or underclock) the card, alter the cooling fan's speed for quiet operation or performance, and even alter the GPU core and memory voltages for more aggressive overclocking. And as we mentioned earlier, the vGuru software can also be used to toggle the card's blinking LEDs on and off. The vGuru software, in conjunction with Abit's xTurbo Technology, make the Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB arguably the most "tweakable" video card to ever pass through the HotHardware labs. Those that like to tinker with their hardware would certainly have some fun with the Fatal1ty X800 XL 512MB.