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Power Color Radeon X1650 XT Review

Date: 2006-12-19

   IntroductionThe oft quoted saying - 'There are lies, damn lies and statistics' is commonly used to argue against the use of statistics. Yet it is true that we now live in a number crunching soc...

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The oft quoted saying - 'There are lies, damn lies and statistics' is commonly used to argue against the use of statistics. Yet it is true that we now live in a number crunching society, where people are so accustomed to seeing 'hard facts and numbers' paraded to support their causes that they may fall prey to numbers that have been spun to suggest the wrong conclusions. When used properly, statistics do serve an important purpose of stripping away our innate prejudices and assumptions and giving us just the facts. Those are the times when they confirm our gut feelings.

For instance, how many of us genuinely believe that ATI is doing great in the graphics business at the moment? Our guess is that even the most hardcore ATI supporter would know that it has been playing catch up for most of this generation's hardware. Only recently have the red team managed to restore some parity and even a slight price performance advantage for some segments. But the market is unforgiving and slow to react so latest sales statistics for the third quarter of the year continue to reflect NVIDIA gaining at the expense of ATI in the crucial mobile and discrete segments.

With the high-end crown seized by NVIDIA, ATI's hopes of salvaging anything for the year lie in their revamped products released in the past few months. One of them is the Radeon X1650 XT 256MB, which is looking like a rather decent competitor to the GeForce 7600 GT. Today, we have PowerColor's mildly overclocked version to add some spark to the red team. Here is its box packaging and technical specifications:

Power Color Radeon X1650 XT Review
You know it's not an expensive graphics card when the box packaging is modestly sized.

PowerColor Radeon X1650 XT 256MB Technical Specifications
  • ATI Radeon X1650 GPU(RV560)
  • 330 milliontransistors on 80nm fabrication process
  • Core Clock: 595MHz
  • 24 pixel shaderprocessors
  • 8 vertex shaderprocessors
  • Ring Bus MemoryController
    • 256-bit internalring bus for memory reads
    • Programmableintelligent arbitration logic
    • Fully associativetexture, color, and Z/stencil cachedesigns
    • HierarchicalZ-buffer with Early Z test
    • Lossless ZCompression (up to 48:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z/stencil cacheoptimized for real-time shadow rendering
  • Ultra-Threaded ShaderEngine
    • Support forMicrosoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    • Full speed 128-bitfloating point processing for allshader operations
    • Up to 128simultaneous pixel threads
    • Dedicated branchexecution units for high performancedynamic branching and flow control
    • Dedicated textureaddress unitsfor improved efficiency
    • 3Dc+ texturecompression
      • Highquality 4:1 compression for normalmaps and two-channel data formats
      • Highquality 2:1 compression for luminancemaps and single-channel data formats
    • Multiple RenderTarget (MRT) support
    • Render to vertexbuffer support
    • Complete featureset also supported in OpenGL® 2.0
  • Advanced Image QualityFeatures
    • 64-bit floatingpoint HDR rendering supported throughoutthe pipeline
      • Includessupport for blending andmulti-sample anti-aliasing
    • 32-bit integer HDR(10:10:10:2) format supportedthroughout the pipeline
      • Includessupport for blending andmulti-sample anti-aliasing
    • 2x/4x/6xAnti-Aliasing modes
      • Multi-samplealgorithm with gammacorrection, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      • NewAdaptive Anti-Aliasing feature withPerformance and Quality modes
      • TemporalAnti-Aliasing mode
      • LosslessColor Compression (up to 6:1) atall resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
    • 2x/4x/8x/16xAnisotropic Filtering modes
      • Upto 128-tap texture filtering
      • Adaptivealgorithm with Performance andQuality options
    • High resolutiontexture support (up to 4k x 4k)
  • Flexibledisplay support
    • Programmablepiecewise linear gamma correction, colorcorrection, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
    • Complete,independent color controls and video overlaysfor each display
    • High quality pre-and post-scaling engines, withunderscan support for all outputs
    • Content-adaptivede-flicker filtering for interlaceddisplays
    • Xilleon?TV encoder for high quality analog output
    • YPrPb componentoutput for direct drive of HDTV displays
    • Spatial/temporaldithering enables 10-bit color qualityon 8-bit and 6-bit displays
    • Fast, glitch-freemode switching
    • VGA mode support onall outputs
    • Drive two displayssimultaneously with independentresolutions and refresh rates
  • 128-bit 4-channelGDDR2/GDDR3 memory interface
  • 256MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Clock = 1390MHzDDR
  • Dualintegrated dual-link DVI transmitters
    • DVI 1.0 compliant /HDMI interoperable and HDCP ready
  • Dualintegrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
I/O FaceplateConnectors
  • 2 x DVI-I connectors
  • 1 x mini-DIN connector
Drivers &Software
  • Driver support forWindows  98 / Me / 2000 / XP
  • CyberLink DVD Solution
Other Information
  • Internal CrossFireReady
  • DynamicVoltage Control
  • Atleast 450W PSU recommended
  • NativePCI Express x16 bus interface

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