The Radeon 9250 is the latest low-end graphics card to come from ATI which is designed to replace the 9200 series of graphics cards. If you're looking for something to get away from onboard graphics that attack your system memory or you just want to start playing solitaire in 1600 X 1200, the 9250 is going to be the graphics card for you. Truly though, it is not designed to be used to play recently released games such as Doom 3.
Being offered in both 64-bit (9250 SE) and 128-bit (9250) memory bus versions, we have a number of graphics cards here today that will not only let us see the difference between these two bus widths but also if 256MB of memory over 128MB impacts performance in our usual array of gaming benchmarks.
Let's start by take a quick look at all the contenders.
The GeCube 9250 is the first off the bat and comes with a total of 128MB of memory and uses a 128-bit wide memory bus. This card is one of the only cards in our roundup that come with a fansink - most of the others choose to just use a simple passive heatsink.
The package is extremely light on and where these cards are aimed at, the packages will be very similar across the board.
Elsa is the only card that is 64-bit which instantly sends a chill down your spine. We know that the 9250 128-bit isn't going to be the fastest thing we have seen but we can't begin to imagine how the 64-bit architecture is going to hit us. The Elsa package is extremely small and plain. This is going to be an entry level card and the price should be close to the 9200SE from other manufacturers at the moment.
Gigabyte is using a blue PCB which is something a little different from your standard run of the mill red ATI card. Like the GeCube card, Gigabyte has also used a fansink. This card is full size as apposed to the Elsa card which is low profile which is handy in a server situation where you want a cheap graphics card that can fit in a Rack Mount case.
Gigabyte has chosen to include the ATI Rage theater chip which gives the card the ability to do Video In / Video Out otherwise better known as VIVO. If someone wants a budget system with the ability to record onto the computer this could be quite a good option.
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