Selecting a video card isn't as easy as it used to be... Between all of the brands, the few base chipset makers, and more chipsets than ever to choose from, it is easy to get confused. You used to be able to look at a video card and get a good idea of how it compared to other cards based on the chipset designation. Higher numbers generally meant better, faster, more expensive, and so on.
Especially with ATI cards, you now not only have to wonder how different chipsets compare, but how the various models based on the same chipset match up. For example, an X1300 sounds like it should be better than an X800 (but isn't)... Or among the X800 series, would an XL, XT, Pro, GT, or GTO be best?
This review will take a look at PowerColor's 128MB X800 GTO PCIe graphics card shown in the promotional image above. The X800 series has been around for quite some time now, but the GTO suffix is much younger and it will be interesting to see exactly what it provides.
PowerColor is a manufacturer of graphics cards and tv tuner/capture cards that has developed a solid reputation with their selection of products for any budget and performance level. The company was launched in 1997 by the Tul Corporation of Taiwan, and as they grew they expanded into the US with an office in the City of Industry, California in 1999. Based on the performance and popularity of their ATI based graphics cards, there is no reason their growth shouldn't continue.
The compact packaging provides a good number of details on the card, but there are no images of the card itself. Instead you get a good look at an ample bosomed android angel of sorts, who is apparently associated with the product in some way. All kidding aside, the box provides the bulk of the details you would be interested in seeing when making a purchase, and the back features even more information in a variety of languages.
The PowerColor X800 GTO does not ship with any games, but does come with a few accessories worth noting. You receive a quick installation guide, as well as a "Power Pack" sleeve which contains the two CDs shown at the bottom of the below left image. One CD contains all of the driver files/applications, and the other CD contains a full suite of CyberLink DVD applications, most notably PowerDVD.
The above right image shows off the balance of the accessories provided with the card, including: an s-video extension cable, a composite video extension cable, a nifty looking DVI to analog adaptor, an s-video to composite adaptor, and finally an s-video to component adaptor.
Now that we've looked at the extras, let's take a look at some of the published data on PowerColor 128MB Radeon X800 GTO Graphics Card and move into the heart of the review.