IntroductionASUS EXTREME AX800XT Platinum Edition
NVIDIA's been stealing most of the limelight in the graphics card sector lately. You'd have to be living under the proverbial rock not to notice the furore surrounding the launch of NVIDIA's SLI-capable chipset. Effectively combining two like GPUs and using them as a rendering goliath, Scalable Link Interface gives performance like never before. A couple of 6800 GTs, run in SLI mode, make short work of the likes of DOOM 3, but combining two such cards is an expensive, loud, and limited method of obtaining high performance. You can't, for instance, use 2 SLI cards in a SFF system. Initial stability, whilst good, still isn't up to a one-card system's. It wold take an adventurous soul to go down SLI Street right now.
The safe, guaranteed route to 3D performance is to opt for a single high-end in either AGP or PCI-Express flavours. ASUS reckons that the package to opt for is its RADEON X800 XT PE PCIe 256MB card. We already know that the R423 is a fast, fast GPU, and ASUS' usual attention to detail and presentation touches makes its cards some of the most desirable out of any partners'. That's why we were keen to take a closer look at ASUS' EXTREME AX800XT Platinum Edition PCIe.