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Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test system.

Processor Athlon 64 FX-53 2.4GHz
System busHT 16-bit/1GHz downstream
Motherboard DFI LANParty NF4 Ultra-D Abit AV8
BIOS revisionNF4LD209VIA K8T800 Pro
North bridgeNVIDIA nForce4 UltraVIA K8T800 Pro
South bridgeVIA VT8237
Chipset driversForceWare 6.53Hyperion 4.56
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
CAS latency (CL)22
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)22
RAS precharge (tRP)22
Cycle time (tRAS)55
Hard drives Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ 120GB SATA
Audio driversRealtek 3.71Realtek 3.71
Graphics 1ATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB with CATALYST 5.4 driversATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB with CATALYST 5.4 drivers
Graphics 2ATI Radeon X800 XL 512MB with CATALYST 5.4 driversATI All-in-Wonder X800 XT 256MB with CATALYST 5.4 drivers
Graphics 3NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB with ForceWare 7.89 driversATI Radeon X850 XT PE 256MB with CATALYST 5.4 drivers
Graphics 4 NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB with ForceWare 7.89 drivers
Graphics 5 NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB with ForceWare 7.89 drivers
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c

Today we're looking at the performance of ATI's Radeon X800 XL, X850 XT Platinum Edition, and All-in-Wonder X800 XT graphics cards against that of several competitors. On the AGP front, the cards will go toe-to-toe with NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra. We've also included a handful of PCI Express cards, including a GeForce 6800 GT, and 256 and 512MB flavors of the Radeon X800 XL. If ATI's bridge chip is doing its job properly, there should be little difference between the performance of AGP and PCI Express versions of the Radeon X800 XL.

Thanks to OCZ for providing us with memory for our testing. If you're looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, OCZ's RAM is definitely worth considering.

Also, our test system was powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units. The PowerStream was one of our Editor's Choice winners in our latest PSU round-up.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests. All of the 3D gaming tests used the highest possible detail image quality settings except where otherwise noted.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.