We've seen a number of cards announced recently that like to slap half a gig of memory on themselves. Here's a round-up from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Graphics cards, graphics cards – all I see are graphics cards (and consoles!). For the last week we’ve had a bundle of 512MB ATI and nVidia designs thrown at us in one shape or another. So before we go completely mad, lets clear a few of them out the way.
Prime suspect to bug us to death is Info-Tek with its Gecube X700 and X800XL (above). These go first for no other reason than Info-Tek writes the most concise press releases and it’s late, I’m waaaay tired, still got my best mate’s birthday bash to go to and by the time you read this I will have caught an 8.10am flight to Poland (?!) on behalf of Intel.
On with the show. The X800XL is a nifty looking piece of kit based around the ATI R430XL VPU and like all the cards here it has a whopping half gig of RAM riding on it. It’s top notch RAM too, being GDDR3, while the card’s core frequency runs at 400MHz and has 16 pixel shader pipelines and six vertex engines for 3D image processing. There’s dual DVI and support for DirectX 9.
Like most of the best cards out there it is PCI Express. No price on this one, but it shouldn’t be long now (Speaking of which, nine hours till the taxi comes, I’m not packed and an hour late for my friend’s birthday).
The X700 is a step down, but still a nice card. It is built around the TV410 VPU and has 8 pixel pipelines and GDD2 memory. The interface is PCI Express and most interestingly it will be available in two flavours: the standard and a “SilenCool” edition which has a dual sided heatsink that Info-Tek promises will result in virtually noiseless operation. Just what we need while thrashing Hell’s Spawn with our 7.1 speakers blaring (only kidding, it’s a cool idea).
Both X700 options are in the shops now with retail prices starting from a reasonable £124.55 including VAT.
Abit’s Fatal1ty X800XL is the card making the big play for gamers’ hearts. Named after super fragger Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel (who in the early days no doubt wanted to be called “Fatality” but found the tag taken), the card is based on the R430XL VPU just like the Info-Tek version. It comes with the same 512MB GDDR3 RAM and sports a 60mm ball bearing low noise fan that Abit promises will keep sound down to 30db. Its thin design also means it takes the space of only one slot.
Abit being Abit and the Fatal1ty series being the Fatal1ty series means this card comes with a wealth of overclocking software. The main app, vGuru, allows user control of the fan speed and clock rate while the company’s XTurbo technology has been implemented to apparently give the card extra head room.
Why didn’t they just turn it up themselves? Why do Salt and Shake crisps not just put the salt on? Because half the fun it meant to be doing it yourselves. So if you want to fry a high end graphics card, you’ll be pleased to know the Fatal1ty X800XL is due this month at an unannounced (but no doubt high) price.