ATI Radeon X800 XL (256MB review: ATI Radeon X800 XL (256MB

Further, the X800 XL's large 70mm fan spins slowly and quietly, making it a good candidate for a PC in your stereo rack or in other noise-sensitive environments. The S-Video connector allows you to output to a TV or a VCR, and the X800 XL also includes a digital DVI output and one analog VGA output. The Catalyst drivers offer excellent dual-monitor support, but the lack of dual DVI ports means that you'll have to run one display in analog mode. If you have a pair of digital LCDs, you'll sacrifice some image quality on one monitor as you convert the digital signal to analog.

Gamers looking to tweak every bit of performance possible from their card will find ATI's Catalyst drivers a mixed bag with the X800 XL. For general image-quality settings, the Catalyst Control Center provides immediate feedback on how setting changes affect performance and image quality. You don't get ATI's Overdrive overclocking app, however, which pops up when you use the same drivers with the X850 XT Platinum Edition card. The good news is that third-party overclocking utilities, such as PowerStrip, work fine.

We should also note that, as with the X850 XT Platinum Edition, the Radeon X800 XL appears to be in somewhat short supply. We have seen it at retail for $299 and also at varying prices from ATI's partners, including Sapphire, Asus, and others (most of which don't appear in U.S. brick-and-mortar stores) that sell ATI-based cards. You can expect that performance from other cards that use the same chip will be very close to what we tested here, and you might also find games and other free software thrown in. Pricing varies, but shopping around online should turn up cards at prices in the neighborhood of $299.

Half-Life 2 custom demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,280x1,024 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,024x768 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
ATI Radeon X800 XL
53 
71.9 
97.1 
Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT
52.9 
69.8 
87.4 

Doom 3 custom demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,280x1,024 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,024x768 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT
37.3 
50.5 
73.4 
ATI Radeon X800 XL
27.5 
38.3 
55.1 

Far Cry custom demo (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,280x1,024 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
1,024x768 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering  
ATI Radeon X800 XL
51.8 
67.5 
84.7 
Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT
41.9 
57.2 
77.6 


ATI driver used: Catalyst 5.2 (WHQL)
Nvidia driver used: ForceWare 71.84 (WHQL)

Find out more about how we test graphics cards.

Graphics card test bed
Intel 3.46GHz P4 Extreme Edition CPU; 1,024MB Kingston Technology HyperX DDR2 memory running at 533MHz; Intel D925XCV motherboard; Intel 925X chipset; Maxtor 250GB 7B250S0 SATA hard drive; Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

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ATI Radeon X800 XL (256MB, PCI)

Part Number: 100-435502 Released: Jan 1, 2004
MSRP: $349.00 Low Price: $251.88 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 1, 2004
  • Interface Type PCI Express x16
  • Compatibility PC
  • Max Monitors Supported 2
  • Graphics Engine ATI Radeon X800 XL
  • Size 256 MB