The Cards - Sapphire X1650PRO
Next is Sapphire with their normal square white box. The same gripe can be found with this box as the other one with it simply stating that 256MB of G-DDR memory is included. If someone was to walk into a shop they would see this and look at the offering from PowerColor and GeCube see that it says DDR-3 on the front of the box and instantly assume that the card is probably better. Apart from this gripe we have our normal information along with the Windows Vista Ready logo and a small picture showing that a copy of DaVinci Code game is included.
The back of the box states what is included, product highlights, awards that have been won over the time and the main features again. There is still no mention of the fact that the Sapphire card is making use of DDR-3 memory - hopefully this is something they choose to fix in the near future.
Going inside we have one of the larger packages with the manual, two converters, HDTV component out cable, copy of PowerDVD and the inclusion of DaVinci Code game - Sapphire and HIS are the only companies that choose to include a game. It's just nice to see that Sapphire give us something a little different which we have seen before. They clearly offer one of the best game bundle packages with this seen and the Sapphire Select program we see on a lot of their higher-end cards.
The card itself uses quite a thin cooler with a smaller fan on the left of the card which pushes air across the fins and helps cool the core and the memory. The fan doesn't directly blow onto the core like the PowerColor but works similar to GeCube solution. Also like the GeCube solution, Sapphire opt for the higher quality copper solution to dissipate the heat unlike aluminum which we see in most low to mid range cards.
The back has our screws that hold the large heatsink in place, more importantly we see the first sign of the fact that the card is making use of DDR-3 memory.
Like all the other cards here today, Sapphire are utilizing a couple DVI ports along with the video out port. The X1300XT article saw Sapphire being the only card not to include Dual DVI, so it is good to see on the higher-end X1650PRO that they are making use of it.
Sapphire's card comes in with a little overclock like their X1300XT which was clearly the fastest overall card out of the pack in our previous round up. The core is clocked at 635MHz and the DDR-3 memory comes in at 1440MHz DDR.
So, not as high as what GeCube are offering this time around but ahead of what PowerColor is offering.