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ATI's Radeon X800 256MB and Radeon X850 PRO Preview

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 9 February 2005, 00:00

Tags: ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

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ATI Radeon X850 PRO

X850 PRO
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X850 PRO Rear
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The X850 PRO is a different beast, with a new heatsink design that I'm not sure has been seen before. It actively cools the memory modules on both sides of the PCB. On the front it uses an aluminium cooler with a copper base to interface with the GPU and you can see that it covers most of the front of the board.

You use a now standard power connector to power the board. Here's the cooler up close.

Heatsink
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The ADDA AD4512HB-E03 is a 45mm ball bearing blower fan, 12mm thick. It takes a 12V DC supply, the H in 'AD4512HB' denoting high speed. Be thankful it's not a U. Finally, the 3 in 'E03' denotes control by an IC and speed sensor, so you can be sure it's controllable by the driver and other software.

At the default fan speed of 54% of maximum, the blower in the X850 PRO's cooler assembly is quiet. At 100% it's less irritating than that in the X800 on the previous page, but still rather loud. The blade design of the cooler seems to be responsible for all the audible noise as the blower shoves air across them. The pitch changes of the fan aren't that annoying to my ears, thankfully.

You can see a Rage Theater on the rear of the PCB, endowing the reference X850 PRO design with VIVO ability. That's likely to be carried over to shipping retail versions, as seen with X800 PRO on AGP in the early days of R420.

The cooler is retained to the PCB and GPU in the same way as X850 XT PE's cooler, using a bracket on the rear. The bracket touches the DRAMs on that side of the board, collecting their heat. The DRAMs are Samsung K4J55323QF again, this time GC16 for 1200MHz DDR clock. The reference board uses white thermal interface material this time around, rather than the TIM pads seen on previous Radeons. Either way works, those DRAMs run pretty cool and don't require any cooling for correct running.

Wearing its cooler, the X850 PRO reference board weighs just under 385g, or about the same as a 6800 GT reference board.

X850 PRO Core
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Nude, you can see the large R480 die. There's S-Video in and out, DVI and analogue VGA on the X850 PRO. Dual DVI is a vendor option.

ATI package up X850 PRO with a heatsink and fan combination that stays the right side of annoying with fan noise, allowing it to slide into all the spaces that ATI's previous small PCB, single-slot PCI Express X8-series Radeons could.

ATI Tray Tools Information

Clocks
Fan speeds