We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Radeon X1800 XL is part of the new high-end graphics chip family from ATI, competing directly with GeForce 7800 GT from NVIDIA. We’ve got a reference sample for this model from ATI, so we will compare its performance to other members of the Radeon X1000 series, to previous ATI chips and also with competing products from NVIDIA. Theoretically this video card was released yesterday, but so far we couldn’t find it for sale.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 1: Radeon X1800 XL reference board.

We’ve posted a complete article explaining what’s new on Radeon X1000 series, so we won’t be repeating here everything we have already explained there. The big news is that all chips from this series are finally supporting Shader 3.0 model (DirectX 9.0c).

There are two chips on Radeon X1800 family: X1800 XT and X1800 XL. X1800 XT runs at 625 MHz and accesses its memory at 1.5 GHz (48 GB/s) and it will reach the market only on November 05th, 2005 at a suggested price of USD 499 for the 256 MB version and USD 549 for the 512 MB version. X1800 XL runs at 500 MHz, accesses its memory at 1 GHz (32 GB/s) and according to ATI should have arrived at the market yesterday, at a suggested price of USD 449.

You can see in our tutorial “ATI Chips Comparison table” the difference between this new chip and the other chips from ATI, while on our tutorial “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” you can compare it to its competitors from NVIDIA.

You can see the Radeon X1800 XL reference board on Figures 2 and 3.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 2: ATI Radeon X1800 XL reference board.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 3: ATI Radeon X1800 XL reference board, back view.

Let’s now take a closer look at the Radeon X1800 XL reference board from ATI.

[nextpage title=”The Radeon X1800 XT Reference Board from ATI”]

We disassembled the video card heatsink to take a look, see Figure 4. As you can see, the base of the heatsink – the part that touches the graphics chip – is made of copper. The heatsink fins are also made of copper, as you can see in Figure 5.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 4: Video card with its heatsink detached.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 5: Base and fins are made of copper.

This video card uses eight GDDR3 256-Mbit 1.4 ns chips from Samsung (K4J55323QG-BC14)to give it 256 MB of video memory (256 Mbits x 8 = 256 MB). These chips can run up to 1.4 GHz. Since this video card accesses the memory at 1 GHz, there is an amazing 40% headroom for memory overclocking inside the memory’s specifications. But of course you can try overclock it over its specs. So, in theory this video card has highly overclockable memories. Keep in mind that we are talking about a pre-production sample; the final model from ATI partners can use a different memory chip model.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 6: 1.4 ns GDDR3 memory chip used by ATI Radeon X1800 XL reference board.

The reference board has video capture function (VIVO), using ATI Rage Theater chip.

ATI Radeon X1800 XLFigure 7: ATI Rage Theater chip for video capture.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard: DFI LAN Party 925X-T2 (Intel 925X, Sep. 20th, 2004 BIOS)
  • CPU: Pentium 4 3.4 GHz LGA 775
  • Memory: Two 512 MB DDR2-533 CM2X512-4200 CL4 from Corsair memory modules
  • Hard Drive: Maxtor DiamondMax 9 Plus (40 GB, ATA-133)
  • Screen resolution: [email protected] Hz

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional installed using NTFS
  • Service Pack 2
  • Direct X 9.0c
  • Intel inf driver version: 6.0.1.1002
  • ATI video driver version: 4.10 (6.14.10.6483)
  • ATI video driver version: 4.12 (Radeon X850 Platinum Edition)
  • ATI video driver version: 5.3 (Radeon X800 GT)
  • ATI video driver version: 5.9 (Radeon X800 GTO)
  • ATI video driver version: 8.173 beta (Radeon X1000 series)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 66.93
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 77.72 (GeForce 7800 GTX)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 78.02 (GeForce 7800 GT)

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark2001 SE”]

3DMark2001 SE measures video card performance simulating DirectX 8.1 games. It is very effective software for evaluating the performance from previous-generation games, programmed using DirectX 8. In this software we run six tests. We run the software in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and with no frame buffer, then we put the antialising at 4 samples and the frame buffer at triple-buffering. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

You may be asking yourself why we added an old program in a review of a latest generation  video card. To us, it is as important to know the performance of a video card with the latest games as it is to know its performance in an older game. That’s why we kept this software in our methodology.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 4.19% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 5.85% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 7.05% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 8.17% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 15.34% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 20.17% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 24.11% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 48.67% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 52.05% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 71.28% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, which was 7.06% faster and ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 5.79% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 7.22% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 7.24% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 9.31% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 16.25% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 24.23% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 25.74% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 27.83% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 73.36% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 75.34% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 108.70% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 6.42% faster and ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, which was 5.56% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 9.57% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 11.52% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 18.66% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 25.88% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 26.99% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 34.29% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 44.34% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 103.00% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 126.23% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 173.29% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 8.68% faster, ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, which was 5.39% faster and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 3.25% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 7.28% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 12.76% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 14.45% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 16.85% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 19.89% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 24.93% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 27.30% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 44.27% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 102.42% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 120.33% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 139.60% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 5.65% faster and ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, which was 3.72% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.30% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.31% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 10.59% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 19.26% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 22.40% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 30.33% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 32.03% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 33.03% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 45.82% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 71.92% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 160.72% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 198.05% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 213.28% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten only by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 7.35% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.51% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 5.54% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 12.45% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 33.19% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 37.06% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 49.19% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 52.11% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 71.48% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 92.35% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 144.91% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 355.68% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 405.87% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 522.14% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten only by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 11.58% faster.

[nextpage title=”3DMark03″]

3DMark03 measures performance by simulating games written to DirectX 9, which are contemporary games. We run this program in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and anisotropic filtering, and then configuring antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering also at 4x. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our bechmarks, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 17.12% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 23.24% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 40.55% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 43.90% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 54.76% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 63.16% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 80.18% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 171.18% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 218.41% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 279.01% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 18.92% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 17.73% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 14.15% faster and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 4.69% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.46% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 20.77% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 27.60% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 51.60% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 53.69% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 58.21% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 76.64% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 99.42% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 201.61% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 256.89% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 325.65% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 22.25% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 18.43% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 14.69% faster and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 3.06% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.95% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 22.38% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 29.68% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 65.12% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 67.49% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 71.97% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 88.43% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 122.02% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 226.47% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 310.28% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 386.53% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 22.97% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 20.29% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 15.83% faster and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 12.34% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.62% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 15.01% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 34.77% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 51.58% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 87.32% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 95.74% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 98.70% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 123.25% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 173.38% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 292.14% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 374.31% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 457.05% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 17.84% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 10.46% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 6.48% faster. 

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.96% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 15.47% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 40.16% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 61.70% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 93.46% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 106.94% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 108.60% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 184.61% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 195.40% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 384.24% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 436.57% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 498.10% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 24.84% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 10.64% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 6.68% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 15.59% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 44.52% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 65.39% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 118.64% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 124.56% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 126.57% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 221.72% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 238.21% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 465.43% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 693.31% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 748.98% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 26.81% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 11.16% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 5.87% faster.

[nextpage title=”3DMark05″]

3DMark05 measures performance by simulating DirectX 9.0c games, i.e., using the new Shader 3.0 model. This programming model is used by Far Cry game and other games to be launched in the future. This new programming model is used by GeForce 6 and 7 series from NVIDIA and Radeon X1000 series from ATI.

We run this program in three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32, first without antialising and anisotropic filtering, and then configuring antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering also at 4x. This improves the video quality but lowers the performance. We were willing to see how much performance we lost by putting the VGA to run at the maximum possible image quality. It is important to note that ATI chips can run at 6x antialising. Since NVIDIA chips cannot run at this configuration, we had to use 4x antialising to use a configuration that is valid to all video cards included in our benchmark, allowing direct comparison between them.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 12.89% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 29.65% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 31.55% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 42.63% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 62.06% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 71.10% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 124.22% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 125.31% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 280.42% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 351.57% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 374.07% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 11.61% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 7.51% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 4.91% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 17.17% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 35.96% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 38.95% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 48.30% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 74.00% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 82.82% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 146.52% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 183.80% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 341.14% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 434.04% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 459.88% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 17.64% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 13.04% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 9.24% faster. 

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 21.72% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 41.74% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 45.57% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 54.80% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 96.91% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 97.40% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 167.47% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 278.56% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 406.89% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 487.84% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 575.85% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 22.51% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 16.82% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 12.25% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.67% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 18.17% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 40.86% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 44.25% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 58.76% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 66.73% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 83.33% aster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 163.17% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 356.41% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 465.90% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro, 528.24% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 550.50% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 15.56% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 6.86% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 3.03% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

To run at 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements on 3DMark05 the video card must have at least 256 MB of memory, because of that some video cards couldn’t run this test. Here ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.38% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 22.02% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 48.71% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 49.17% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 65.54% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 95.82% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 97.63% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 185.42% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 512.08% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 745.96% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 22.89% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 10.05% faster, and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 5.51% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

To run at 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements on 3DMark05 the video card must have at least 256 MB of memory, because of that some video cards couldn’t run this test. Here ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 12.25% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 26.47% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 55.45% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 59.04% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 88.31% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 115.86% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 116.20% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 206.04% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 613.92% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 1.133.14% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten only by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 25.76% faster.

[nextpage title=”Doom 3″]Doom 3 is one of the heaviest games available today. As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions: 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and high. We ran demo1 four times and wrote the obtained number of frames per second. The first result we discarded at once, since it is far inferior than the other results. This happens because at the first time we run the demo the game must load all textures to video memory, fact that doesn’t happen from the second time we run the demo on. From the three results left, we consider as our official result the middle result, i.e., we discard the highest and the lowest values. Curiously almost all times the values obtained at the second round on were the same.

A very important detail that we must mention is that Doom 3 has an internal FPS lock: it is only capable of generating 60 frames per second, even if your board is able to produce more frames per second than that. This is done in order to make the game to have the same “playability” sensation independently from the video card installed on the PC. This lock, however, is disabled in the game benchmarking mode.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Doom 3, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 11.36% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 12.29% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 13.78% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 23.98% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 35.01% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 35.01% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 41.29% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 69.24% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 73.94% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 204.53% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 273.41% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X1800 XT, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT and XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.48% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 6.60% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 29.28% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 34.89% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 70.11% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 72.65% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 80.76% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 116.62% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 120.77% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 312.24% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 405.00% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 13.12% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 12.00% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 11.88% faster, and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 8.29% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 37.47% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 40.53% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 98.43% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 99.05% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 100.32% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 138.11% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 147.45% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 381.68% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 495.28% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT and ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 30.11% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 28.05% faster, ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 22.82% faster, and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 20.76% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 10.29% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 12.85% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 14.96% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 30.23% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 39.49% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 40.76% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 51.15% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 82.94% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 89.32% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 231.65% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 302.62% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten only by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 3.36% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.11% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 8.01% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 30.33% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 40.90% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 73.39% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 76.13% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 87.53% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT.127.33% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 134.13% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 325.00% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 421.33% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 15.35% faster, XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 14.45% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 13.43% faster, and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 10.87% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 41.15% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 41.47% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 99.35% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 101.31% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 101.97% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 145.60% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 154.77% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 429.31% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 496.12% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT and ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 31.60% faster, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 30.13% faster, ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 23.45% faster, and NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, which was 22.48% faster.

[nextpage title=”Far Cry”]

Far Cry is a game based on the new Shader 3.0 (DirectX 9.0c) programming model available on series 6 and 7 from NVIDIA and series X1000 from ATI graphics chips. We’ve updated the game to version 1.3.
 
As we’ve done on other programs, we ran this game at three resolutions, 1024x768x32, 1280x1024x32 and 1600x1200x32. This game allows several image quality levels and we’ve done our benchmarking on two levels, low and very high. To measure the performance we used the demo created by German magazine PC Games Hardware (PCGH), available at https://www.3dcenter.org/downloads/farcry-pcgh-vga.php. We run this demo four times and made an arithmetical average with the results. This average is the result presented in our graphs.

This game has a very important detail in its image quality configuration. Antialising, instead of being configured by numbers (1x, 2x, 4x or 6x) is configured as low, medium or high. The problem is that on NVIDIA chips both medium and high mean 4x, while on ATI chips medium means 2x and high means 6x, making the comparison between ATI and NVIDIA chips completely unfair. Because of that we configured antialising at 4x and anisotropic filtering at 8x manually at the video driver control panel.

For further details on how to measure 3D performance with Far Cry, read our tutorial on this subject.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.75% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.33% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 7.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 8.87% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 10.70% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 10.82% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 16.94% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 19.89% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT and 28.46% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to HIS Radeon X800 GT, ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., ATI Radeon X1800 XT, Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, ATI Radeon X1600 XT and GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked).

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 6.35% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.61% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 7.55% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 10.98% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 11.03% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 11.39% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 58.96% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT, 61.37% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600 and 94.26% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, HIS Radeon X800 GT, GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), ATI Radeon X1800 XT, ATI Radeon X1600 XT and Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 without any image quality enhancement, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 5.89% faster than MSI GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.31% faster than XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, 6.49% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 10.52% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 11.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 16.30% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT,17.20% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 29.75% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 34.78% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 123.80% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 137.08% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT and 190.32% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E, ATI Radeon X1800 XT, and GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked).

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1024×768 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 10.37% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 12.69% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 37.16% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 39.64% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 59.78% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 87.99% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 99.97% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 223.41% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 275.06% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 308.48% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., ATI Radeon X1800 XT, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, MSI GeForce 7800 GTX and XFX GeForce 7800 GTX.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1280×1024 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 3.05% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 4.34% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 34.90% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 35.84% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 75.48% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT, 82.15% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 96.68% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 148.23% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 171.11% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 364.50% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 394.70% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 413.95% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 7.54% faster and XFX GeForce 7800 GTX, which was 3.77% faster.

Radeon X1000 Series

At a resolution of 1600×1200 enabling image quality enhancements, ATI Radeon X1800 XL was 9.46% faster than ATI Radeon X850 XT P.E., 13.39% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT, 51.43% faster than GeCube Radeon X800 GTO (which is factory-overclocked), 73.11% faster than NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, 111.17% faster than PowerColor Radeon X800 GT,113.99% faster than HIS Radeon X800 GT, 142.19% faster than ATI Radeon X1600 XT, 196.65% faster than Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro, 203.94% faster than XFX GeForce 6600 GT, 426.24% faster than Albatron GeForce 6600, 638.31% faster than Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro and 746.79% faster than ATI Radeon X600 XT.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL achieved a performance similar to XFX GeForce 7800 GTX and MSI GeForce 7800 GTX.

ATI Radeon X1800 XL was beaten only by ATI Radeon X1800 XT, which was 21.09% faster.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

We usually love the “not the very high-end and expensive one” chip inside a high-end family. Usually this kind of chip – like Radeon X800 XL, GeForce 6800 GT, GeForce 7800 GT and now Radeon X1800 XL – provides a very high performance for a better price, providing a far better cost/benefit ratio. Sometimes the performance difference between this kind of chip and the most high-end one is not big enough to justify the relatively big price difference between them.

This new chip from ATI is a really good competitor to NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GT and our benchmarking results were quite interesting.

On 3DMark03, which simulates DirectX 9.0 (Shader 2.0) games, GeForce 7800 GT was between 4.69% and 12.34% faster than Radeon X1800 XL without any image quality enhancements enabled. When we enabled anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, Radeon X1800 XL was 3.62% faster than GeForce 7800 GT at 1024×768 and 5.96% faster at 1280×1024, and achieving the same results at 1600×1200.

On 3DMark05, which simulates Direct X 9.0c (Shader 3.0) games, both cards achieved the same performance level on all resolutions. However, when we enabled anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, Radeon X1800 XL was between 5.28% and 12.25% faster than GeForce 7800 GT.

On Far Cry, Radeon X1800 XL was between 4.34% and 13.99% faster than GeForce 7800 GT.

So, it seems that Radeon X1800 XL is faster than GeForce 7800 GT when image quality enhancements are enabled. And we doubt that someone that go for a video card above USD 400 will not enable them.

Doom 3, however, continues to be ATI’s Achilles’ Heel. On this game GeForce 7800 GT was between 8.29% and 22.48% faster than Radeon X1800 XL. So if you are going to primarily play Doom 3 or any other OpenGL game, we’d suggest you to buy GeForce 7800 GT.

As for the price, Radeon X1800 XL is listed at USD 449 and GeForce 7800 GT can be found around USD 400. The problem, however, is that even though Radeon X1800 XL was theoretically released yesterday, so far we couldn’t find it for sale at on-line stores. Also, you should keep in mind that its price tag is a suggestion and probably we will find cards from ATI partners (the usual suspects: Sapphire, GeCube, Gigabyte, ASUS and HIS, just to name a few) being sold for less.