Throughout ATi’s recent history, we had seen some
close competition, especially during the 9800Pro/XT era, where ATi held the
throne of being the fastest. Now, with the introduction of the X1800XT, we
wondered what’s under the hood of this new card that could possibility threaten
NVIDIA’s performance leadership.
Here, we stripped the PowerColor X1800XT bare as usual :
This is how the PowerColor X1800XT 512MB looks like from the
top. The card itself is pretty much an ATi reference card and should be similar
across the board with other brands for this first shipping batch.
Here’s how the back of the card looks like. It appears that
the mounting holes for the heatsink on this card, is similar to those from the
NVIDIA 6800GT/GS/Ultra cards. Overclockers, don’t throw away that old coolers
you’ve got for those older cards, as it might just work over here!
Here’s a close up of the fan onboard the card. Although it
looks strikingly similar to those found on Reference X850XT cards, the fan on
this X1800XT is far more powerful then its predecessor. At max speed, you could
literally feel air gushing out after being sucked in from the other side. Noise
levels at max speed could be compared against 80mm case fans that spins more
then 6000rpm – easily one of the nosiest as far as graphics cards are concerned.
This card, like all other higher end gaming cards, requires a
6 pin PCI Express power connector in order to function properly. Interestingly,
the X1800 series is the only cards in the new X1000 line up that requires a
Due to the complex power requirement for it’s 90nm X1800XT
(R520) core, a huge row of inductors and Voltage Regulating Modules (VRM,
covered under the red strip of heatsink) are in place to feed the card with the
power it needs.
The rear I/O connector of this card comprises of 2 DVI ports
and a round TV-Out / VIVO connector. Since this card features a large blower for
its cooling, the PowerColor X1800XT requires an additional PCI slot, for hot air