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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


First off the line is the brand new Radeon X1300PRO from GeCube which sports a very sexy looking HDMI port. Like DVI, HDMI offers a pure digital signal but is also able to transfer up to 8 channel audio which is more commonly known as 7.1.


A lot of TVs currently offer HDMI and not DVI so the release of a HDMI card made sense - even if you're not using the audio ability of the cable, you are making full use of the digital signal which is exactly what you want on an expensive LCD TV or Plasma.



The box uses the standard GeCube layout with an emphasis on the card supporting HDMI, which of course allows us to make use of non-existent items like HD DVD and Blueray. The card is simply an X1300 which is going to be fine for most people as the product is directly aimed at the home theater market that don't need a massive amount of 3D processing power for games.



The back of the box is the same as any X1300 from GeCube, while they show the normal connections of what can go where because they haven't updated it the box shows us nothing about the HDMI connection. With that said though, it really isn't hard to figure this stuff out - just plug the cable in.



The package inside is pretty much the norm for a lower end card. It is nice to see that GeCube are including a HDMI cable as it really isn't much use having the connection on the card without being able to use it. We also have a driver CD and our other forms of cables to make use of TV Out with none of them being nearly as good as the HDMI connectivity.



Like any good home theater card, it is low profile which is handy for people who have opted for a smaller case. The only problem is you lose the VGA port but this shouldn't be an issue. It would have been nice to see a silent version but there is a small fan that doesn't generate too much noise.



We have our VGA and normal TV out port along the side with our HDMI port. The HDMI port also offers HDCP (or High Definition Content Protection) which is a new form of copyright protection. It really is a necessity for anyone going into the next generation of digital entertainment.


Clocks speeds on the card are 500MHz core and 520MHz memory. 256MB of DDR2 is included on the board and using the Hyper Memory technology can be taken to a total of 512MB depending on the amount of system RAM you have.

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


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