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GeCube ATI Radeon X1800 GTO: price/performance hero?

Games crawling at a snail's pace? Broke as hell? The GeCube Radeon X1800 GTO's good performance and affordable price could be just the tonic

Crave is sometimes accused of being shallow. Personality and inner strength are important, sure, but we often find ourselves falling head over heels for things simply because they're pretty. Many of us, for example, won't even play a PC game unless all the special effects are switched on and it's the visual tech equivalent of Halle Berry, David Beckham or Ron Jeremy (hey, whatever floats your boat).

So it's no surprise we're keen on fast graphics cards. The latest to fall into our clutches is the ATI Radeon X1800 GTO from GeCube. It's designed to offer the best performance in its price bracket (approximately £111), so it's a great card for hardcore gamers who can't stomach the £400 required to buy ATI's flagship X1900 XTX.

For the technically inclined, the X1800 GTO is a direct competitor to Nvidia's mid-range GeForce 7600 GS. It's based on the R520 core, the same beast that powers the mighty X1800 XT, minus a couple of bells and the odd whistle.

It has 12 pixel shader pipelines, eight raster operator units, 256MB of DDR3 memory and, most impressively, you can use a pair of them in ATI's dual-card Crossfire configuration without the need for a master card or dongle. Which is nice.

We'll subject it to some brutal games testing shortly and bring you a full review in our new Accessories channel. -RR