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Sapphire Technology, the No. 1 maker of ATI Radeon-based graphics cards, has quietly started to ship Radeon X1800 GTO2 graphics boards which offer increased performance not only compared to the original X1800 GTO model, but also compared to the X1800 XL.

Sapphire Radeon X1800 GTO2 comes with fully-fledged Radeon X1800 XL processor clocked at 500MHz with 16 pixel shader engines, 8 vertex shader engines as well as 16 texture units. The graphics board is equipped with 512MB of 1000MHz GDDR3 memory as well as video input/video output capability. The graphics card is currently sold in Japan, according to Akiba PC Hotline, however, there are reports that the products can also be acquired in Eastern Europe.

ATI Radeon X1800 GTO has 12 pixel shader processors and 8 vertex processors, while the Radeon X1800 XL features 16 pixel shader units and 8 vertex shader units. Both are equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 and are clocked at 500MHz/1000MHz core/memory. Considering the specs, it is clear that the Radeon X1800 GTO2 is more powerful than the X1800 GTO or X1800 XL models.

Earlier Sapphire gained popularity among enthusiasts with its Radeon X800 GTO2 products, which could be modified and overclocked easily, providing much higher performance than the typical Radeon X800 GTO offered by ATI.

Neither Sapphire Technology, nor ATI Technologies commented on the news-story.

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