Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Performance Summary: In every test, the Sapphire X800GTO2 competed on the same level, or better, than the 6800 GT, except for Riddick and Doom 3, which were strong points for the 6800 GT. The GTO2's performance advantages were most evident with 4X Anti-aliasing and 16X Anisotropic filtering enabled, where the performance hit was consistently more severe with the 6800 GT in most cases.
As we wrapped up this review, we were left with a strong feeling that Sapphire has offered somewhat of a gift to their enthusiast customers with the Sapphire X800GTO2 Limited Edition. What they've essentially done is taken an X850 class card, clocked it down to X800XL levels and labelled it an X800GTO2. With excellent gaming performance, great overclocking potential, full 16-Pixel Pipelines, Sapphire Select Game DVD, Dual-DVI and supporting hardware, Sapphire delivers a lot of punch for the price. Using the Trixx overclocking software included in the package, or something a bit more robust like ATITOOL, clock speeds in excess of X850XT Platinum Edition Radeons are well within reach, as our tests showed. Unlike the 12-Pixel Pipeline GTO series, which comes with one DVI and one VGA output and has a reputation for being easily soft modded to 16-Pixel Pipelines with the simple BIOS flash, with the X800GTO2 there is no soft modding required. Some may want to experiment with an X850 XT Platinum Edition BIOS though, to lock the clock speeds higher. This sort of worked for us in our tests, but the cooler's fan throttling stopped working properly. With the wrong BIOS flashed to the card, the fan on the cooler wouldn't spin until the card hit 90oC. This can be remedied easily enough as both Trixx and ATITOOL can load with Windows and both offer manual fan control. And of course, the standard overclocking disclaimer applies -- individual results can vary.
What's even better news for those looking to cash in on Sapphire's X800GTO2 is Sapphire's recent announcement that they intend to improve availability on these cards so even more users can take advantage of this offer. With that said, unless it is of the utmost importance for you to have the biggest and baddest video card available, the X800GTO2 should prove to be an excellent upgrade. And if you enter our giveaway, you may be the proud new owner of a new Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 Limited Edition for free! The deadline is February 28, 2006 so get going. We give the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 Limited Edition a Hot Hardware Heat Meter rating of 9.
|•16-Pixel Pipes Out of the Box
•Extremely Competitive Pricing - $190 Current Street Price
•Sapphire Select Gaming DVD with free Voucher
•Trixx Overclocking Software
|•Basic "Stock" Cooler