ATI's Radeon X1650PRO graphics card is a good performer and the ability to simply just buy two and throw them into Crossfire without much effort at all is fantastic and the performance gain varies from around 25% to 40% or so. While buying a couple at the same time and placing them straight into Crossfire won't always be an option for all users, with the ability to simply buy one card now and get a second one at a later date does make it more attractive.
GeCube when it came to performance today was the real stand out card, which was to be expected though with the highest core and memory speed on offer. With that said though, it isn't the cheapest cards on the market like we quite often find with the GeCube cards and with one of the lighter packages, it is a little disappointing in that respect.
PowerColor performance was down again like the X1300XT round up. With the lowest core and memory speed out of the bunch and also the cheapest X1650PRO DDR-3 available, we thought at the beginning we would find it at the bottom of the pack. There isn't a huge difference between the slowest and fastest card but there is a difference none the less.
Sapphire again comes with an overclocked card though not quite as aggressive as what the GeCube card offered. Performance was up there with the top card but it consistently trailed just behind due to the slightly lower core and memory speed. While the Sapphire performance is number two, it clearly has one of the best packages out of the box but this does come at a price.
Lastly we have the HIS offering which we looked at in our Crossfire on a budget article. It has one of the best coolers available out of the bunch but one of the lower clock speeds. It would have been nicer if HIS made better use of the cooler by increasing the core and memory speed up and beyond what GeCube offered. HIS bundle as always is quite good as well, though we have no doubt that people are becoming tired of the same DVD bundle and hopefully HIS will step it up a notch with a new game with new cards like the Radeon X1650XT.
All cards have their pros and cons - GeCube offer the best out of the box performance but with no real bundle, PowerColor while being the slowest is also the cheapest so its good for people who want a DDR-3 X1650PRO but aren't all that concerned about not necessarily having the fastest. Sapphire performance is up there as usual and also has a good little bundle, it is the most expensive though out of the four cards, you will have to see if you can justify the game for those extra hard earned dollars. Finally there is the HIS - it is quiet and priced well but the lower clocks force it to sit down the bottom of the pack when compared to some of the other brands.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [GeCube X1650PRO]
- Page 3 [PowerColor X1650PRO]
- Page 4 [Sapphire X1650PRO]
- Page 5 [HIS X1650PRO]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark05]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Lost Coast)]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 12 [Final Thoughts]