The Radeon X1800 graphics card family is not anymore in the forefront of ATI Technologies’ product range as it has been superseded with the more advanced Radeon X1900 series. Its senior model, Radeon X1800 XT, didn’t come out of the fight with the GeForce 7800 GTX as an absolute champion, although indeed was faster across a number of applications. The later released GeForce 7800 GTX 512 won the battle for Nvidia because the non-overclocked Radeon X1800 XT, even though with a huge core frequency of 625MHz, couldn’t do anything against that card, especially as the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 was equipped with very fast graphics memory clocked at an unprecedented 1700MHz. Still there was an attempt to create a Radeon X1800-based graphics card capable of competing with the GeForce 7800 GTX 512: ASUSTeK Computer came up with a unique version of Radeon X1800 XT that we are going to discuss in this review.
Like some other manufacturers’, ASUS’s product range includes graphics cards with frequencies higher than the reference ones, but unlike, for instance, pre-overclocked products from EVGA (for details see our article called EVGA e-GeForce 7800 GTX Graphics Card Review), ASUS’s feature sophisticated cooling systems to ensure highest stability under extreme operating conditions, support a number of exclusive technologies, and are accompanied with truly gorgeous accessories. We already told you about one such card (see our ASUS EN7800GTX TOP/2DHTV review) and praised its superb performance (generally higher than that of the Radeon X1800 XT) as well as its excellent noise characteristics. The Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 cooler installed on that card not only made it nearly silent but also efficiently cooled, with hot air being exhausted outside of the PC case. Of course, this came at a price, as usual. That graphics card had a near zero overclocking potential, but that wasn’t such a terrible drawback considering its high performance at default clock rates.
As you know, ASUS turns out graphics cards on ATI’s GPUs, too, so a similar product with the Radeon X1800 chip was sure to appear and has indeed been released. It is called ASUS EAX1800XT TOP/2DHTV and is claimed to be 10% faster than the standard Radeon X1800 XT.
This performance gain is achieved by lifting the card’s frequencies from the standard 626/1500MHz to an impressive 700/1600MHz. Let’s learn more about this card to see if it is really capable of rivaling the formidable GeForce 7800 GTX 512 and how it compares with the new Radeon X1900 XT.