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On The Vast Amount Of X800 Products

As you know, ATI has recently extended its X800 series with X800 GTO. Considering there are two variants, with 256MB @ 490MHz and 128MB @ 350MHz, the total number of X800 products makes nine. On the one hand, X800 GTO looks slightly more powerful than GT due to 12 pipelines instead of 8. On the other hand, the memory is identical and X800 GT's core clock is 75MHz higher.

Compiling the primary specs of X800 series, we get the following table:

  Pipelines Core clock, MHz Memory clock, MHz
X800 XT PE 16 520 560
X800 XT 16 500 500
X800 XL 16 400 500
X800 Pro 12 475 450
X800 GTO 12 400 490
X800 GT 8 475 490
X800 12 400 350
X800 SE 8 425 400

From the angle of real performance being a function of price, X800 GTO 256MB is located between X800 XL 256MB that costs about €300 and X800 GT 256MB (€180). So why did they release yet another modification of X800? The real (though unspoken) reason is, perhaps, that ATI is trying to sell previous-generation GPUs as fast as possible before Radeon X1600 and X1800 arrive.

Is there anything good for customers? There is. And it's better than it might seem at the first glance. As you know, GTO will be based on different GPUs. So, if you obtain such a card on R480 GPU that doesn't have pipelines blocked by hardware means, you will be able to turn it into a 16-pipeline product (by updating BIOS, or running a special utility). Add the fast memory (e.g. 1.6ms like in Sapphire RADEON X800GTO Fireblade) and you will get a nice purchase. Pity, but it's impossible to predict the success of these actions regarding each certain card, since identically looking cards will be based on R480, R430 and R423 GPUs. Besides, not all R480 chips allow unlocking pipelines by software means. Moreover, the time during which you will be able to unlock pipelines is also limited - most likely, GTO production will be cancelled late this or early next year. According to some information we have, the unlocking is unambiguously possible on Sapphire GTO² cards.

Source: HardWare.fr, HKEPC, VR-Zone, Sapphire, iXBT

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