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Budget Graphics Cards Tested - Q3 2006 VGA Roundup

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 25, 2006 4:00 am

GeCube X1300PRO HDMI


This card is clearly focused towards one market and one market only. The home theater market clearly does not need any real form of graphics power but do want the absolute best image quality. Since DVI isn't available on all TVs and HDMI is quickly becoming the "in" interface, the GeCube X1300PRO HDMI is the perfect card.


While the home theater PC market is still a bit of a niche it is growing thanks to products like Windows Media Center and Intel jumping on with Viiv.


When it comes to scoring though it's not always about what is the fastest, it's sometimes about what is different. The GeCube X1300PRO HDMI is clearly different and while the package is lighter then others, it comes with the very important HDMI cable. This is going to save you some pretty pennies. It would have been nice to see a low profile bracket also included but we suppose you cannot have it all.



Rating - 8.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Features Award


HIS X1300 Turbo


Even with the IceQ ability and iTurbo function the HIS X1300 just can't compete strongly against the other cards we have here.


While in a single review we would have liked the game, cooler and increased clock speed, when you throw it into the ring with seven other cards the competition becomes a lot stronger and it really separates the men from the boys like we mentioned previously.


Rating - 6.5 out of 10


ASUS X1300PRO Silent


The ASUS card is a bit different to everything else we have seen before - the weird design with the core on the back of the card is interesting to say the least.


The cooler is excellent quality and is an extremely solid design. It is clear why you pay slightly more for the ASUS over the other brands, you throw in the fact that it also comes with a full version copy of King Kong the deal becomes a little sweeter.


The problem is that they seemed to put so much effort into the design of the card that they could have probably aimed at doing it on a GeForce 7300GT GPU which we can see today is a clear winner over the ATI Radeon X1300 VPU.


ASUS have done a good job with the card and bundle it is just let down by a core that just can't pack the same amount of punch as the nVidia's GeForce 7300GT.


Rating - 7.5 out of 10


PowerColor X1300PRO Bravo


The problem with the PowerColor X1300PRO Bravo isn't PowerColor but ATI. Sure in an environment where we only compared X1300s it's a clear winner but when you throw cards like the 7300GT DDR3 into the mix, it really has its work cut out for it.


Feature wise it is very good - Dual DVI and VIVO make it stand out from the pack and the use of DDR3 really give the little X1300 core a bit more grunt but clearly not enough to play with the big bad 7300GT boys.


If you really feel that the image quality on the ATI line up is better then what nVidia then go for your life and buy the Bravo, but if you're looking for more performance you need to start looking over to the green side.


Rating - 8 out of 10

XFX GeForce 7300 GS, (256 MB) PCI Express Graphic Card


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