The X800 & X850 Series
With ATI's announcement in early December of five new products, the high-end Radeon line got much more crowded. To give you a clearer picture of where each of these new cards are targeted, we've put together a couple of simple charts outlining their main features, theoretical performance capabilities, and prices...
The Radeon X800 XL falls somwhere in between the 16-pipeline Radeon X800 XT and 12-pipeline Radeon X800 Pro. The X800 XL's 16-pipeline GPU, clocked at 400MHz, give the card a higher peak fillrate than the Radeon X800 Pro (6.4GPixels/s vs. 5.7GPixels/s), even though the X800 Pro's GPU is clocked 75MHz higher. The X800 XL is also equipped with faster memory than the X800 Pro, putting the XL's peak memory bandwidth on par with the standard Radeon X800 XT at 32GB/s. When compared to NVIDIA's high-end offerings, the Radeon X800 XL fares pretty well. The X800 XL has the same theoretical peak fillrate as a GeForce 6800 Ultra, and the same amount of memory bandwidth as a GeForce 6800 GT.
Based upon its theoretical performance capabilities, the Radeon X800 XL seems like a very capable video card. It's specifications rank among the best avaialble. One area where the Radeon X850 and GeForce 6800's don't compete with the new Radeon X800 XL, however, is price. The Radeon X800 XL has an MSRP of $299, $100 less expensive than a GeForce 6800 GT and $200-$250 cheaper than a Radeon X850 XT or GeForce 6800 Ultra. Whether or not the Radeon X800 XL actually ships at a significantly lower price point than its main competition remains to be seen, but all indicators suggest ATi should be able to deliver the goods this time around. Everything about the Radeon X800 XL suggests it'll be much more practical to produce than any of the other cards in the X800 product line.