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Review: PowerColor Radeon 9800XT 256MB

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 March 2004, 00:00

Tags: Powercolor Radeon 9800XT 256MB, PowerColor (6150.TWO)

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Introduction

PowerColor Radeon 9800XT 256MB Video Card

C.P Technology isn't a name that many non-PC-literate users are aware of. PowerColor, however, the company's branding for its range of ATI GPU-powered video cards, has been increasing its product visibility over the last few years. C.P Technology was formed in 1997 and became an ATI Add-In board (AIB) partner in 2001. Revenues have increased from $3m to approximately £180m in the last 7 years; impressive growth in pure percentage terms. Needless to say, PowerColor now carries a formidable range of video cards.

The marketing success of any company can be gauged by the number of established on-line vendors that stocks its products. PowerColor's cards now seem to be cropping in increasing volume all over the U.K. Perhaps its ethos of aggressive pricing and a wide selection range is helping vendors ease in its wares to their respective catalogues. Whatever the case, it's hard to ignore shortlisting PowerColor's cards when appraising which ATI-based card to buy.

The real difficulty for any AIB partner is differentiating itself from the rest of the pack. As far as we can see, an AIB can either differentiate on price, card modification (using a custom, non-reference design), or via the accompanying bundle. Let's face it, it's not too difficult to copy the reference design or supply a driver CD, is it ?. It's with these thoughts in mind that we were happy to evaluate PowerColor's top-of-the-line Radeon 9800XT 256MB (XR98T-D3) card. It's a Radeon 9800XT, so it'll perform well in benchmarks. But what else does it have that may separate it from the hordes of cards vying for your money ?. Let's try to find out.