Introduction, Specification, and Bundle
Hardcore gamers, with the large disposable incomes necessary to feed their hardware addictions, have a lot to be thankful for at the moment. Both NVIDIA, with the GeForce 6 Series of products, and ATi, with their X800 Pro and X800 XT, have extremely powerful GPUs in their arsenals that are an order of magnitude faster than the previous generation. And while the previous battle at the high-end between the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and Radeon 9800 XT was heated, it was never quite as competitive as things are today. The 9800 XT was almost universally lauded as the "better" choice, but now the choice isn't quite as clear. Compelling arguments can be made for choosing either NVIDIA's or ATi's flagship architectures at this juncture. NVIDIA has Shader Model 3.0 support and a clear performance advantage in Doom 3, while ATi's cards are equally as fast, or faster, in most other games, they are single-slot solutions, they have 3Dc support, and buying an X800 doesn't mean upgrading your power-supply as well.
Today on HotHardware, we're going to explore Asus' take on ATi's Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, the AX800 XT. This card sports all of the features of the "built by ATi" X800 XT PE, but unlike the ATi branded cards, the Asus AX800 XT has a uniquely colored PCB, lighted cooling fan, and it ships with a beefy accessory and software bundle. Check it out...
|Powered by the ATI Radeon X800 XT
ASUS AX800 XT equips with newest ASUS-specific award-winning features and ATI's Radeon X800 XT Visual Processing Unit (VPU), which owns both ultimate excellent cinematic resolution and fierce graphics computing power. Incorporating various state-of-the-art technologies such as ATI's SMARTSHADER HD, SMOOTHVISION HD, HYPERZ HD, VIDEOSHADER HD, 3Dc, ASUS' GameFace Live, and rich-spectrum of unique ASUS innovations, Radeon X800 PRO is positioned on the enthusiast products and the most complete solution for the 3D and video application market.
SMARTSHADER HD increased maximum shader instruction count to 1,536 from 160; new high-performance shader compiler
SMOOTHVISION HD improved AA and AF performance for HD resolutions; 12X effective Temporal MSAA generates the sharpest and clearest images
VIDEOSHADER HD integrated shader features to provide unprecedented support for digital and high definition video
HYPER Z HD enhanced Hi-Z buffer for improved performance at HD resolutions
3Dc provided image enhancement & acceleration technology resulting in high polygon characters and scenes
128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
Microsoft DirectX 9 and OpenGL 1.5 support
AGP 8X support
ASUS GameFace Live for real-time video/audio communication
ASUS Video Security online for building private security system
ASUS On Screen Display allows you to instantly change various 3D settings in almost any PC game without the need to quite the game
High-quality TV output for big screen gaming or presentations
DVI output for easy connectivity to digital flat panel display
Diversified displays connectivity (DVI, Dual VGA, DVI+VGA, DVI+TV-out)
DVI to VGA adaptor
7 Pin S-Video to HDTV(YprPb) cable
9 Pin S-Video to composite VIVO cable
ATX power cable
Free CD Case
Counter Strike: Condition Zero
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Ulead Cool 3D 2.0+Photo Express 4.0 SE (2 in 1)
ASUS DVD XP
Power Director 3
ASUS Driver and Utilities
Free Webcam ( 300K pixels)
Graphics Engine - ATI Radeon X800 XT
Video Memory - 256MB DDR
Engine Clock - 520MHz
Memory Clock - 560MHz(1.12GHz DDR)
RAMDAC - 400MHz
Bus Standard - AGP8X/4X/2X
Memory Interface - 256-bit DDR
Max Resolution - 2048x1536
VGA Output - Standard 15-pin D-sub
TV-out - S-Video and Composite
DVI Output - DVI-I
2nd VGA Output - Yes
The Asus AX800 XT ships with an impressive compliment of accessories and software. Included with the card itself, we found a single DVI to VGA adaptor (for connecting dual analog monitors), a 7-Pin S-Video to HDTV (YprPb) cable, an S-Video and composite RCA-type video in / video out cable, and a Molex power cable splitter. Curiously missing, especially considering this card has ViVo capabilities, were an S-Video cable and a composite video cable.
Asus also ships this card with a ton of software. Inside the included orange, plastic CD case we found two full version games, Counter Strike: Condition Zero and Deus Ex: Invisible War, along with 5 other CDs comprised of Ulead's Cool 3D 2.0 and Photo Express 4.0 SE, ASUS DVD XP, Power Director 3, Media Show and lastly the requisite ASUS Driver and Utilities disc.
The Asus Driver and Utility CD includes copies of Asus' proprietary GameFace Live software, for real-time video/audio communication, and ASUS Video Security on-line. These two applications work in conjunction with the USB WebCam Asus also bundles with the AX800 XT. To explain how to use all of these programs and accessories, and install the card itself, Asus also provided a couple of well written user's manuals.