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Power Color 9800XT overclocked

Review Mystical clocks
Tue Feb 03 2004, 08:44
THE RADEON 9800XT is one of the fastest cards that your money can buy and there are quite a few companies selling these babies. One of them is Power Color, which was brave enough to start manufacturing some of its cards on its own with the help of giant Foxconn (Hon Hai).

Their Radeon 9800XT was, unfortunately, a standard Radeon 9800XT developed by Sapphire but still we wanted to push this card and to test its mettle. The card is clocked at the mystical "dells heat recommendation" of 412MHz core and 730 MHz memory using DDR, 1 obviously cheaper then DDR II.

We used the Catalyst 3.10 drivers for this review which were stable in every single application that we used during our tests.

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The package includes cables such as DVI, S-Video and composite outs - necessary for plugging your machine into the telly. Of course, you will find a Half Live 2 voucher in the box, so expect to download or to mail order a copy of that particular pot pourri at some uncharted point in the coming weeks or months. Only Valve knows when.

You also get WIN DVD 4 as bundle for watching your DVDs and you will also get "Big Mutha Truckers" game that sounds promising if bordering on the obscene, and a very nice bundle of Tomb Raider AOD.

The new test rig
Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2000 MHz
Epox 8HDA+ K8T800 motherboard
2x512 MB Corsair PC4000 XMS
Maxtor 80GB 2MB cache drive
Pioneer Slot IN DVD
Akasa K8 Cooler
Enhance ENS 0246 400 W PSU
Targa Visionary 19 inch Display

We wanted to know how fast this card will overclock just to see whether there was some more performance space left in the chip. We ended up stable at around 450MHz core and 780MHz memory from the original 412MHz/730 MHz. The core could go further, but we didn't want to push it to the very limit of Ultima Thule, and even though we wanted to get the memory to clock to 800MHz we were able to lift it to 780. The 450 MHz/780 MHz ran fine during many hours of testing and a few days in a normal gaming environment.

Results
Since we know that you become quite skilled in reading our results we won't explain the numbers but you can see that this overclocked card runs significantly faster in every single test. Well 21000+ 3dmarks 2001SE or just hair to 7000 in 3dmark03 not to mention 270 FPS in Expect other Radeon 9800XT cards from other vendors to behave similarly as they are all fathered from the same sire.

Conclusion
Power Color made a nice bundle of the card and it has the potential to be pushed harder. It will cost you close to €500 but for that you get a great card that can overclock nicely. This card is a perfect upgrade from Radeon 9700 PRO or slower Nvidia cards such as FX 5800 or TI 4600 / Ti 4800 but it's not cheap. µ

Quake 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200  
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
339.4
308.4
248.7
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
344.2
316.6
263.5
 
   
Quake 3 FSAA 4X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
292.4
199.9
138.6
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
304.5
213.5
148.6
 
   
Quake 3 FSAA 4X + 8 Aniso
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
277.6
190.5
134.5
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
292
204
144.2
 
         
3Dmark 2001SE Nature
Nature
1024x768
   
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
132.4
20550
   
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
141.6
21336
   
     
UT 2003 FLY
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200  
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHzz
249.9
208
98.5
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
271.9
227.8
159.9
 
UT 2003 BOT
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
97.7
97.4
86.6
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
98.8
99.3
95.8
 
Serious Sam 2 FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
122.7
87
63.8
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
131.4
92.8
68.5
 
Aquamark 3  
1024x768
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz  
46.5
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz    
48.9
 
Halo PS 2.0 benchmark
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
42.1
37.7
27
 
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
46.2
38.1
26.3
 
         
Composite Figures 3Dmark03
3Dmark03
game 2
Game 3
Nature
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
6546
45.7
38.3
36.8
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
6994
49
41.5
39.6
         
Composite Figures 3Dmark03 Single Texturing Multi Textur. Vertex Shader Pixel sharer 2.0
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 412 / 730 MHz
1846.8
2868.6
20.2
52.7
Power Color Radeon 9800XT 450 / 780 MHz
1979.7
3077.8
21.7
56.5

 

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