Hitting the performance mainstream even harder than before...
ATI recently announced that it had launched another dead SKU to go along side the impressive Radeon X800GT. We rounded up four Radeon X800GT video cards at the start of the month and found the HIS X800GT IceQ II iTurbo 256MB to come out on top, despite an impressive showing by PowerColor too.
This time, ATI are back with yet another limited edition SKU designed to compete in that ever competitive performance mainstream segment, even more aggressively than it did with the Radeon X800GT. Today, we are going to lift the curtains on the Radeon X800GTO. In particular, we're evaluating the performance of HIS' X800GTO implementation that features the impressive iTurbo enhanced clock speeds that are guaranteed under warranty by the manufacturer.
Very few of ATI's board partners seem to do anything like this and we've always been one of the first to give credit where credit is due. HIS have often turned an uncompetitive product in to one that competes well with the best in the class. Along with iTurbo, HIS also have their now famous IceQ and IceQ II cooling technology that makes use of Arctic Cooling's VGA Silencer series.
Cooling solution: Admittedly, the coolers are not to everyone's taste or requirements, being an oversized dual slot cooling solution. However, it does have a few benefits - it's exceedingly quiet, even at 100%; and it also provides some of the best air cooling available on the market today making incredible overclocks reasonably frequent. Together, the IceQ II cooling solution and iTurbo overclocking tool with guaranteed clock frequencies of 500/1000MHz covered by the manufacturers warranty provides a very compelling product for anyone that is not concerned about using a dual slot cooling solution.
Clock speeds and pipelines: The cooler is exactly the same as the HIS X800GT, as is the board layout. The differences are under the hood this time around. The main differences between the X800GT and X800GTO is the pipeline configuration. The GTO utilises the same damaged R480 and R423 cores that the X800GT uses, but the X800GTO functions with 12 of the 16 pixel pipelines enabled in comparison to the 8 pixel pipelines that are enabled on the GT.
Both the reference GT and GTO memory clock speeds are the same at 980MHz, whilst the core clocks are 492 and 400MHz respectively - the clocks on both cards are warranted up to 500/1000MHz, allowing for increased performance. Memory bandwidth shouldn't be an issue with the X800GTO, seeing as the GPU utilises a 256-bit memory interface, meaning that the card has twice the memory bandwidth of a GeForce 6600 GT clocked at NVIDIA's reference clock speeds.
The bundle features a single DVI-to-VGA converter, RGB, Composite out and a Composite to S-Video connector. Again, as we noted in the X800GT round-up, there's no S-Video cable included. The video card's back plate has a single DVI connector, a 15-pin D-Sub VGA connector and the standard TV-Out, so the collection of cables is pretty acceptable.
There's a rather fun game included in the form of FlatOut - a great arcade style racing game, a disk with several game demos, a driver CD and HIS' iTurbo software that allows the video card to run at enhanced clock speeds of 500/1000MHz under the manufacturer's warranty. We had a look at the iTurbo utility software in our HIS Radeon X850 XT IceQ II review if you are interested in the interface and haven't seen it before.