This isn't a question of which graphics card is the best but a question of which PCI Express ATI Radeon graphics card is the best for you. You can clearly see that the X800XT is the fastest across the board but this was expected from the beginning. What did shock us slightly was the fact that the X300 was such a great performer with it even out scoring the X600PRO at some stages. The best value for money would be found with the X300 and the X600XT with both cards performing exceptionally well. With the X700 (performance upgrade to the X600) just around the corner though it will be interesting to see what kind of performance jump we get from retail versions. Samples should be ready for testing soon - we will keep you posted.
The X300 is an excellent graphics card for the price although you can see why some importers are choosing not to stock the SE version as for a little bit extra you can get a card that can sometimes offer as much as twice the speed for only a small price increase. It is interesting to see just how close the X600PRO is to the X300 at times with the X300 even beating it every once and a while. For the extra $20 that you're going to pay to get away from the SE name we highly recommend the X300 for people doing PCI Express on a budget.
The X600XT is a solid little performer being consistent with its results but you could not even begin to compare it to the X800XT which really does separate itself from the rest of the pack constantly - benchmark after benchmark.
If you have the money we would naturally recommend the X800XT but if your budget is more in the $100 - $120 mark maybe look at the X300. You can see the results that the different cards give you and it will come down to how much you want to spend.
If you're buying PCI Express expecting to be able to play Doom 3 at 1600 X 1200 on a X300SE, you are mistaken. Even with DDR2 and a Pentium 4 540 clocked at 3.2GHz, the frame rates are not going to be playable so make sure you know what you want to do with your system before you being a cheapskate on the graphics card side of things.
The results speak for themselves here today. The next time you're in a computer shop and the sales staff is telling you that the X300SE is the best card for you remember what you saw here as the speeds between the brands would be very similar.
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- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 1 [Introduction]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 2 [X300 Series]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 3 [X600 Series]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 4 [X800 Series]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 5 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark 01]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 6 [Benchmarks - 3DMark03 and 3DMark05]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 7 [Benchmarks - Doom 3]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 8 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 9 [Benchmarks - Quake 3 Arena]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 10 [Benchmarks - High Quality]
- GeCube "X" Collection - Page 11 [Conclusion]
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