The Radeon X1800 GTO must be compared with its immediate market rival GeForce 7600 GT.
Obviously, the Radeon X1800 GTO is made by disabling four pixel processors out of the R520’s sixteen. This approach to making mainstream graphics card can be traced back to Radeon X800 GT/GTO or even earlier to Radeon 9500/9800 SE. It means there may be an opportunity to transform an inexpensive Radeon X1800 GTO into a full-featured Radeon X1800 XL by turning on the disabled processors, but this is beyond the subject of this review (ATI may also be using R520 chips with defective subunits to make its Radeon X1800 GTO – the flexible modular architecture of desktop Radeon X1800/Radeon X1900 chips allows doing that).
The Radeon X1800 GTO looks technologically superior to the GeForce 7600 GT if you compare their specs. The cards have 12 pixel processors each, and Nvidia’s solution has a higher GPU clock rate, but it is equipped with a 128-bit memory bus whereas the Radeon X1800 GTO accesses its memory across a 256-bit bus. As a result, ATI’s solution enjoys a nearly 10GB/s advantage in memory bandwidth over its competitor and also features a more efficient ring-bus memory controller. Coupled with its 12 raster operators (ROPs), this should tell positively on the Radeon X1800 GTO’s performance in high resolutions with enabled full-screen antialiasing. We’ll check this out in our tests. Right now let’s take a closer look at the card’s design. The new mainstream graphics solution from ATI is represented by a PowerColor X1800 GTO graphics card.