Sapphire X800XL Ultimate
A few years ago Sapphire released a truly silent line of cards know as the Ultimate series. These cards used various different models of heatpipe based coolers from Korean cooling company Zalman. The coolers performed remarkably well considering the total lack of any active cooling and people who were interested in true silence took notice.
Sapphire continued with the line for a while, right up to the 9800XT Ultimate. All told there were about half a dozen various Ultimate cards in Sapphire's portfolio. However, when ATI released the X800 based cards, Sapphire moved away from Zalmans heatpipe coolers and went with active coolers manufactured by Arctic Cooling. The new line, known as "Toxic", is impressive both performance wise and aesthetically, but people began to wonder about the Ultimate series and if Sapphire would someday resurrect it.
It was less than a month ago when Sapphire gave us the answer. The Ultimate line would be renewed in the form of the Radeon X800XL Ultimate, which I'll be checking out in this review.
Sapphire continues to provide one of the best bundles available, though with recent game releases it's starting to get a little outdated. With the Ultimate I was sent there are full versions of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Both are excellent, award winning games that should provide a lot of play time. I was a bit disappointed that the card never came with Sapphire's new game bundle option known as Sapphire Select, but I have been assured that Sapphire will start including it with all of their full retail bundles starting sometime this month.
I was also looking forward to checking out Sapphire's TriXX, their new overclocking and tweaking utility, but for some reason they are still bundling their RedLine tool. They must have had some last minute problems because there's a Redline sticker covering the TriXX logo on the box cover.
- Sapphire Radeon X800XL Ultimate
- Component-out cables
- SVideo cable
- Composite cable
- SVideo-to-composite adapter
- DVI-to-VGA adapter
- Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow DVD
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on 2 CDs
- RedLine CD
- PowerDVD 5 CD
- Drivers CD
- User manual