IntroductionSAPPHIRE RADEON X1800 XL 256MB and XFX GeForce 7800 GT 256MB
ATI's been playing catchup to NVIDIA ever since the impressive GeForce 7-series cards were unveiled over 4 months ago. Since then ATI supporters have had to make do with its R480 range of SKUs which looked decidedly slow against NVIDIA's flagship GeForce 7800 GTX. The performance imbalance was further compounded by the immediate ability to run two of them in SLI configuration. Put it simply, NVIDIA had the fastest single and dual-card setups around. That performance supremacy was further bolstered when the GeForce 7800 GT, priced at RADEON X850 XT/XT PE money, was made immediately available to the public just a month ago.
ATI's catchup has seen fruition on two fronts. On the one hand, it has now successfully launched its own multi-GPU technology, CrossFire. Secondly, the long-awaited R520-based cards have finally been released and reviewed to general acclaim. The top-end of the market, by which we're talking about GPUs costing upwards of £200, is once again a battleground of smarter technology that delivers better performance across the board (bad pun intended). In view of this, we managed to snag a couple of cards that might just take your fancy if you suddenly find £300 burning a hole in your wallet. The above is the background information to the two cards in for review today, as we're casting our critical eye over XFX's pre-overclocked GeForce 7800 GT and SAPPHIRE's RADEON X1800 XL cards. Which is better? Read on to find out.