Sometimes benchmark results don't do justice to a card's real potential. For example the X1800GTO is only slightly ahead of MSI's GeForce 7600GT-based card in tests.

Do not, however, be fooled. In both F.E.A.R. and Oblivion, two of the most notorious processor-wilting games around, it has the measure of the 7600GT - no mean feat when you consider how much Sapphire is asking for its silicon and copper.

And the reason is simple. This is a cut down high-end board with a 256-bit memory bus rather than a trumped-up budget offering labouring behind a 128-bit bus. It's based on ATI's R520 processor, which lest you forget, was briefly the world's fastest graphics chip just over a year ago. It's really the only card in the budget group that we'd go questing around Cyrodiil within Oblivion.