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Three HDMI Graphics Cards Tested on LCD TV

By: James Bannan | Editorials in HT & Movies | Posted: Oct 31, 2006 5:00 am

Final Thoughts

 

Assuming that quality of video playback is the over-riding factor when assessing these cards (i.e. you don't care too much about the quality of the desktop), then the GeCube X1300 and Sapphire X1600 are the stand-out cards in this round-up. The GeCube X1600 isn't a true HDMI card - rather a gaming card with HDCP capabilities leveraging off HDMI-DVI compatibility.

 

The two X1600 cards are obviously the more powerful, with the Sapphire just edging out the GeCube in the performance benchmarks.

 

Overall, the Sapphire X1600 offered the best feature set as a good graphics platform for an HTPC. The ability to mount the card as a dual-width low-rise unit is very neat, and the bundled cabling and software makes it the stand-out performer.

 

GeCube X1300 PROfessional

 

Score - 8/10

 

- Pros

 

Low-rise profile suitable for small HTPC cases

 

Native HDMI audio+video/HDCP support

 

Small fan = quiet cooling

 

- Cons

 

No low-rise bracket in package

 

Slightly underpowered for large-screen gaming

 

Limited software bundle

 

GeCube X1600 Pro

 

Score - 7/10

 

- Pros

 

Dual-DVI suitable for multi-screen

 

Offers good PC image for LCD TV

 

HDCP support over DVI

 

- Cons

 

Full-rise card not suitable for small HTPC cases

 

No native HDMI support - no HDMI audio passthrough

 

Limited software bundle

 

Sapphire X1600 Pro HDMI

 

Score - 9/10

 

- Pros

 

Low-rise card suitable for small HTPC cases

 

Native HDMI video+audio/HDCP support

 

Excellent software bundle

 

- Cons

 

HDMI picture not as good for PC desktop

Samsung LN-S3251D 32 in. HDTV LCD Television

 

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