VisionTek's Xtasy 9800 Pro 256MB graphics card

Excess at its best

THE LAST VisionTek graphics card I reviewed was a GeForce4 Ti 4200. Since then, VisionTek has survived a significant loss of staff, a bankruptcy and subsequent buyout, and perhaps most importantly, a shift from NVIDIA to ATI as its graphics chip supplier.

VisionTek couldn't have picked a better time to switch teams.

Since VisionTek flipped its allegiance, NVIDIA has struggled to overcome early GeForce FX problems and endured an ugly benchmark cheating/optimization fiasco. At the same time, ATI's new line of R3x0-derived Radeons has dominated mid-range and high-end enthusiast markets. I suppose one could accuse VisionTek of jumping on the ATI bandwagon, but can you blame them?

Today we've wrangled VisionTek's latest high-end graphics card, the Xtasy 9800 Pro 256MB. As I'm sure you've already guessed, the card is based on ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro, and comes packed with 256MB of memory. Loading up graphics cards with gobs of memory has become a clever marketing trick for manufacturers looking to spice up their low-end and mid-range graphics cards, but often those cards lack the horsepower to take advantage of the extra memory. Can the Xtasy 9800 Pro's R350 graphics chip push enough 3D pixels to make use of the card's extra memory? Read on to find out.

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