Gigabyte X1800XL Video Card Review :: Introduction

12-06-2005 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun

Founded in 1986, GIGABYTE Technologies is one of the biggest computer component manufacturers in Taiwan and the world. Best known for motherboards, GIGABYTE also manufactures video cards, DVD drives, cases, barebones computers, cases, networking equipment, laptops and other computer equipment. Today's GIGABYTE has over 6000 employees (more employees than NVIDIA and ATI combined.)

ATI releases new video cards every few months or so. Their last major core was the R300 introducing DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 2.0 and Vertex Shader 2.0 to the video card world in 2002. Subsequent cards have included the 9800 Pro, X800XT, and the X850XT PE. Video card technologies move forward at an ever-increasing pace. NVIDIA announced the first video card supporting Shader Model 3.0 (Pixel and Vertex Shader 3.0) in the middle of last year. ATI's intended competition to the 6800 series was due early this year in the spring.

Unfortunately for ATI several events occurred that delayed their next generation part, the R520. Early samples of the card came back from the fab late last year. At the time, ATI was on track for delivery in the spring of this year. After they went into testing, a soft ground error was found and the high end parts were delayed. The chips could not be clocked to the heights tat ATI had designed the R520s for. They finally launched the R520, RV530 and RV515 parts in October, and today, I'm reviewing the GIGABYTE X1800XL card.