It seems that last week's ATI event in Ibiza produced an interesting example of one of the X1K range's biggest weapons; overclockability. An overclocker that goes by the name of Maki, apparently hailing from Finland, managed to use his magic on an X1800XT so that a single card outperformed a dual-wielding (not overclocked) SLI Geforce 7800GTX setup.
The creative Fin, managed to bring a regular 625MHz core and 1500MHz memory X1800XT card to the dizzying heights of an 877.5MHz core and memory clocking-in at 1980MHz. Before you rush of to throw USD600 ATIs way make sure you understand that to reach such levels of performance, you would need a steady supply of dry ice to keep your baby from setting your desk alight. The above mentioned setup, using an AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 (clocked at 3617.5 MHz), achieved the impressive score of 12278 in 3Dmark05, a score that beats the SLI dual Geforce 7800GTX setup using the same processor.
This victory is not immediately significant to prospective ATI owners but is a positive comment on the potential of the R520 chip which appears to be just as, if not more, flexible as its predecessor. The latest news from the ATI camp even suggests that the X1800XT can reach 10k+ in 3DMark05 with conventional air powered cooling.
The biggest proble of the X1800XT however, is that it is still not available while the Geforce 7800GTX, for example, is.