Benchmark Analysis & Conclusion
Performance Summary: The Sapphire Toxic X800 Pro was a good performer overall, usually placing right alongside the 12-pipeline GeForce 6800 and generally behind the 16-pipeline 6800GT. Whereas NVIDIA usually was stronger in head to head DX8 testing, newer DX9 games ran equally well on the Radeon X800 Pro-powered card, especially with Anti-Aliasing or Anisotropic Filtering enabled. Sapphire's APE technology, which increased the memory speeds somewhat, sometimes had the effect of nearly negating any performance losses associated with enabling AA and Aniso.
Sapphire's TOXIC product series should be considered the top of the line, both in features and performance. As such, we were not let down at all. This card comes with an oversized heatsink/fan combo that not only looks exotic, but kept the card and memory cool without adding excessive noise. The only concern will be with users with smaller cases or a large number of added cards, but that's probably a non-issue for the majority of gamers. Sapphire has also included one of the best add-in bundles we've seen in some time. There were two full versions of recent games - almost unheard of these days with the cost-cutting moves we've seen from many manufacturers. Almost all cables that an average user will need are also included, although we still wish that equal attention had been paid to the literature.
As we mentioned earlier, the X800 Pro can compete directly with the GeForce 6800's, and was able to outperform them in some DX9 class games when AA or Aniso was added. Since DX9 class games such as the soon to be released Half-Life 2, and the just recently released Doom3, are what the future holds for us, the X800 Pro's performance with more advanced titles likes these (ie FarCry) is what could sway potential buyers. Sapphire's APE technology helps "seal the deal" even more, by offering cards that will be slightly faster than standard-clocked models, that are still covered under warranty.
We give the Sapphire TOXIC X800 Pro ViVO a '8.5' on the Hot Hardware Heat Meter: