Sapphire use the traditional red PCB for all their Radeon
based products and the Radeon X1800XL is no exception. The
size and physical appearance of the Radeon X1800XL is much
the same as that of the
GeForce 7800 GTX. The Sapphire
Radeon X1800XL that was purchased for this review uses the
ATI reference single slot cooler; it is nothing out of the
ordinary. The card was also purchased as an OEM item so this
means there is no box or manual included.
X1800XL core consists of more than 321 million transistors
and is manufactured using a 90nm process. Despite featuring
such a complex core the Radeon X1800XL is designed to
operate at very high frequencies. The total number of Raster
Operation units has not changed, there are still 16 texture
samples taken per cycle. This means games that use large
amounts of textures will not see the Radeon X1800XL greatly
outperform the older Radeon X850XT PE.
X1800XL features a new high quality Anisotropic Filtering
mode designed to make textures look better than ever before.
The added precision for mipmap LOD and Trilinear
interpolation are designed to allow for shimmer-free gaming.
high-end graphics cards the Radeon X1800XL uses two 4-pin
molex connectors to draw additional power. The graphics card
itself features the 6-pin PCI Express power connector which
requires the adapter for power supplies that do not feature
PCIe connectors. This adapter is of course supplied with the
graphics card and is designed to draw current from two 4-pin
molex connectors, just as the Radeon X850XT PE did. Both of
these cards utilized Samsung ICís (K4J55323QG-BC14) and it
would appear that the majority of Radeon X1800XL based cards
will use this exact memory. After some quick research, I
have found that these modules are rated at 1400MHz DDR. This
means the memory on our Sapphire card should provide a great
deal of overclocking headroom.
action the Radeon X1800XL operating volume level is quite
pleasant for the most part, it does increase the throttle
when under load. After no more than 2 minutes of gameplay
the graphics card fan will spin up to maximum speed,
creating quite a loud noise in the process. Although the
Sapphire Radeon X1800XL does become quite loud during
gameplay, it is very quiet during normal non-3D usage.
the operating volume is not something I would concern myself
with, the power requirement for this graphics cards is,
particularly when in CrossFire mode. The need for a good
quality power supply is a must in any high-end gaming
system. Those that utilize the power of SLI or CrossFire
technology will need a bare minimum of 500w, often even this
wattage rating is not enough. Although I am yet to test two
Radeon X1800XL cards in CrossFire mode I can confirm that a
single card generates a great deal of heat on its own.
The rear of the Sapphire Radeon X1800XL features an S-Video
port supporting the Video-In/Video-Out function and dual DVI
outputs. There are also a number of cables supplied with the
card which will help the user utilize some of these
features. The OEM package also features a basic driver disk
that also has a small overclocking utility. Overall, the
Radeon X1800XL looks to be a quality product with many