The low and mid-range setup of ATI Crossfire dual graphics is not only painless to do but also offers some pretty kick ass performance. It's also quite a cheap option for people who want to get some descent performance at a low cost.
With the ability to buy a Radeon X1650PRO for around $160 AUD in Australia, you could buy one now and get some pretty good performance. Later you could buy a second card which will enable you to bump that resolution up above something like 1280 x 1024 or if you're unable to go any higher then that, you could begin to increase settings from medium to high quality with AA and AF turned on.
You combine this option with the purchase of an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 or E6300 and a cheap Intel 975X motherboard from DFI or Foxconn, you can have a fairly kick ass gaming rig without busting the bank.
Is the Radeon X1650PRO in Crossfire better then something like the GeForce 7600GT in SLI? Well, for our purposes here today it really doesn't matter as officially there is no option to have nVidia SLI on a 975X system. So if you don't want to go broke and want a mid-range dual graphics card setup this kind of combination is going to work pretty well.
What is interesting is the fact that the Radeon X1300XT cannot be found anywhere on the market. Using some price searching utilities, the X1300XT doesn't pop up anywhere and you can clearly see why. With performance being so close to what the X1650PRO is capable of, it would have to be priced quite similar. With a bit more searching and researching, a local supplier let us know what their cost price was on the X1300XT DDR2 and the X1650PRO - pricing differed by roughly 15%. Paying attention to the price difference on the DDR2 X1300XT and DDR3 X1650PRO (being very small) and with the X1300XT that utilizes DDR3 memory, it would almost be identical in price. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for distributors, resellers and the public to buy the X1300XT and since we aren't really seeing them its obvious the distributors feel the same.
Both the Radeon X1300XT and X1650PRO offer great performance increases when paired up in Crossfire but as far as price is concerned in the Australian market, the ATI Radeon X1900GT would be a better buy coming in at the same price (sometimes even cheaper) as a pair of X1650PRO cards and doesn't require the extra work of setting up Crossfire.
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