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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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