Benchmark Summary & Conclusion
Benchmark Summary: We ran a total of 51 different benchmarks on all 6 of the cards we tested. Subtracting the three configurations in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory that weren't cooperative, we have 48 different results where we can compare the AX800 Pro's performance to it's main competition, the GeForce 6 series. When compared to the GeForce 6800 GTs ($399 MSRP), the AX800 Pro "won" 11 tests and "lost" 28, with 9 that were too close to call. As expected, when we make the same comparison to NVIDIA's similarly configured 12-Pipe GeForce 6800 card, however, the AX800's win percentage is much better. When compared to the GeForce 6800 ($299), the AX800 Pro ($470) "wins" 34 tests, versus 12 "losses" and 2 "draws". But where the AX800 Pro/TD excelled was in the tests when anti-aliasing and Anisotropic filtering were enabled concurrently, which is probably the desired configuration with a card of this caliber.
We liked the Asus AX800 Pro/TD on many different levels. The card performed very well, and is clearly an upgrade over ATi's previous generation of products. It's also competitive with NVIDIA's new GeForce 6 series of cards, which is to say it's extremely fast. It was also a great overclocker, its in-game image quality was very good, and because ATi's Catalyst drivers have matured nicely over the last year or so, the AX800 Pro/TD was perfectly stable throughout many hours of testing. Another of the card's strong points, it's very comprehensive bundle, unfortunately also creates a slight disadvantage. Because Asus includes such a large assortment of software and accessories, including a web cam, the AX800 Pro/TD is a bit pricey. Although the ATi Radeon X800 Pro's MSRP is $399, the Asus AX800 Pro/TD is selling for over $470 at the moment. At this price, the AX800 Pro is also more expensive than the GeForce 6800 GT, which outperformed it in a majority of the benchmarks.
Another thing to consider is that there are multiple reports of the AX800 Pro/TD being modded to an Radeon X800 XT, but until we try this for ourselves we can't dwell on this point. However, there may be hidden upside potential here, if you are the type not concerned with voided warrantees. In the end though, the AX800 Pro/TD is great video card, that just happens to be a bit overpriced. Based on it's performance, features and bundle, we're giving the Asus AX800 Pro/TD an 8 on the Heat Meter.