Power Color X800XL 256MB
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 7 January 2006. Page 2 of 9. Add A Comment


Unlike some manufacturers that increase their GPU and memory frequencies beyond NVIDIA's reference specifications by default, Power Color keeps its X800XL256MBDDR3 part aligned with the stock 400MHz and 980MHz speeds -- some cards however have chosen to use 1GHz GDDR3 memory. Cooling the R430 core is a Power Cooler heatsink that refrains from resembling ATI's X800XL reference design, although some traits have been adapted. Assisting in airflow, while abiding by low noise restraints, is a 15-blade fan that pushes the air through the aluminum heatsink. The single-slot cooler coats a majority of the graphics card's red PCB and should be able to do a suffice job at cooling the X800XL although certainly not as well as the Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer or other after-market solutions.

To the right of the heatsink is a fair amount of power circuitry, however, due to X800XL specifications no PCI Express 6-pin or 4-pin molex connector is needed for operation. At the opposite end of the graphics card are two DVI connectors as well as a VIVO connection. Normally, a single DVI and analog VGA connector accompany the X800XL part but Power Color has chosen to go against the status quo in order to improve its design. Of course, the X800XL is a dedicated PCI Express x16 solution and is competitive with ATI's X800PRO on the AGP side.

On the opposite side of the PCB are four of the GDDR3 memory chips accompanied by additional circuitry, part stickers, and mounting hardware for the X800XL heatsink. Spanned between the two central GPU mounting holes is a metal brace that is attached via screws. The stickers on the Power Color X800XL contain the serial number and SKU as well as its longer part number.

Removing the Power Cooler heatsink, via two mounting bolts, we were left with four GDDR3 memory modules and the ATI GPU itself. The GDDR3 memory modules employed by the Power Color X800XL are Samsung's K4J55323QF-GC16. The RAM modules are rated for a 600MHz maximum memory frequency with 1200Mbps/pin. In addition, the Samsung IC's are rated for 1.667ns operation and the memory batch found on our card was 519. Ultimately, there should be some headroom when overclocking the graphics memory as the GC16 modules were used that support up to 600MHz theoretically while Power Color has it specified to run at 490MHz as opposed to the GC20 that is limited to 2.0ns 500MHz.

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