ASUS is the first manufacturer to get a retail PCI Express RADEON X800 XT in our hands, and it looks like a real winner. Since we’re still a few weeks out from posting a full review of this card, we figured we’d take the time out to give you a quick preview, as there isn’t much information out there about it and those of you who plan on building a PCI-E system in the near future should definitely give this card a close look.

For starters, the ASUS Extreme AX800XT card we’re looking at today is based on ATI’s X800 XT VPU, and not the X800 XT Platinum Edition. If you recall our X800 XT/X600 XT Performance Preview, the X800 XT was built to address the needs of OEMs who liked the X800 XT Platinum’s core technology, but felt the heat generated by the card was a little too high for use in their PCI Express system designs. With Prescott’s thermal requirements increasing with each new release, they weren’t comfortable adding another hot component in their systems.

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