How we Rated
When doing a round up like this we score the cards on a curve with the better cards in the pack scoring a higher rating, while in a single review would have scored slightly higher.
For example the ASUS X700 is a great card but when you put this much competition in one room you look past your normal flaws and go even deeper to score the cards more evenly.
Unlike other sites we can also look past speed of the cards giving a chance like the non- Pro variants of cards to score higher. Take the HIS card for example, while not being a high performing product, this isn't their fault as all the other companies we looked at today have a non-Pro version yet decided to ship in their more vanilla looking versions instead of there slightly slower but better bundled product.
Gigabyte - Gigabyte X700PRO is a silent graphics card that performs in the top end of the 256MB offerings and offers all the important video trimmings. The bundle while not being all that exciting does come with a full version game and a good one at that which is more then some people ask for.
Overall the Gigabyte X700PRO is a good product and perfect for the user wanting to setup a silent computing system but aside from that it doesn't stand out all that much from the competition.
Rating - 7.5 out of 10
ASUS - ASUS as usual has a nice performing card scoring up there with the Gigabyte and does include good features and handy software. The cooler is quite standard but does directly cool the memory on the front of the card which is a good thing. The bundle is on the light side of things.
When you throw it up against this tough competition the price premium you pay to own an ASUS graphics card does reduce our overall rating in this case.
Rating - 7 out of 10
GeCube - We have three variants from GeCube with each performing well. Comparing the standard 128MB offerings to the 256MB cards we can see that the 128MB cards offer better value. The only two programs that we found really have any impact on performance with 128MB less of memory was 3DMark05 and Far Cry.
With this said, the 128MB Extreme version from GeCube is able to offer everything and more that a person would want out of an X700PRO. We also see that moving to a heat pipe variant doesn't impact performance and has no problems keeping up with its active cooled twin brother.
Unfortunately we are let down by the smallest bundle out of the group from GeCube. We've rated the standard X700PRO 128MB with a score of 7 out of 10, the heat pipe version with a score of 7.5 out of 10 and the Extreme model scoring our best rating of 9.5 out of 10 and our Editor's Choice "MUST HAVE" Award due to impressive performance.
(Ed. Note - We're expecting more "Extreme" type X700PRO graphics cards from other companies but GeCube was easily the first to deliver the product to us )
MSI - Performance wise, the MSI X700PRO didn't stand out in a good way or bad way - it sat in the middle of the pack and while doesn't have performance written all over it like the GeCube Extreme model, it does have HUGE bundle written all over it in a big way.
The MSI X700PRO package caters for that person on a dial up connection...why you might ask? The answer is simple, if you don't have the bandwidth to download all the latest demos, the chance are your game collection isn't huge but thanks to the bundle that is included in the package from MSI you can not only load up this card and get into playing a hot new title, you can get into it and play a multitude of hot new titles.
Rating - 8.5 out of 10
Sapphire - Sapphire much like MSI didn't have performance that stood out but visually the graphics card is good and the inclusion of memory sinks of all the RAM is a positive.
It comes with a nice bundle and while not as strong as MSI's offering, it did come with two full version games and good ones at that.
Rating - 7.5 out of 10
PowerColor - Like GeCube, PowerColor sent us multiple offerings of their X700 line up.
The first was a heat pipe non-Pro variant and the other an active cooled X700PRO with 256MB of memory. We can see the kind of performance that the non-Pro version offers and while it isn't great, for anyone who wants to do a little bit of gaming, it is going to perform a lot better then the lower end X300 ATI offerings.
The package is the same among both graphics cards and comes with Hitman Contracts which is the latest out of the Hitman series and not a bad game at all. The non-Pro heat pipe card is a good option for people wanting a silent card that's not going to bust the bank yet offer some decent performance.
Rating - 7.5 out of 10
The active Pro version on the other hand consistently scored lower then the other X700PROs making it one of the worst Pro buys available with nothing else special included to help it stand out over the competition.
Rating - 6 out of 10
HIS - The HIS offering fixes up on a few things that the PowerColor offering was missing. While we do receive 256MB of memory and Dual DVI we also get VIVO making this card perfect for people building a home theater system that they also want to use as a bit of a LAN box from time to time.
We get gaming performance that is going to play recent games at a reasonable level, the ability to record video and use multiple DVI LCDs. All this with the DVD packed full of goodies makes the HIS X700 a great buy in our books.
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Features Award
This concludes our monster X700 roundup and we hope our information has provided you with informed buying decisions.
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- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 1 [Introduction]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 2 [GeCube]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 3 [PowerColor]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 4 [HIS]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 5 [MSI]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 6 [Sapphire]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 7 [Gigabyte]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 8 [ASUS]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 9 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark2001 SE]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark03]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 11 [Benchmarks - 3DMark05]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 12 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 13 [Benchmarks - Doom 3]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 14 [Benchmarks - Quake 3 Arena]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 15 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 16 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 17 [Pricing Details]
- Radeon X700 Roundup - Page 18 [How we Rated and Final Thoughts]
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