by Rob Williams on December 5, 2006 in Graphics & Displays
If you don’t have $300 to spend on a GPU, then there are a slew of budget cards for you to ponder over. Last week we took a look at an X1650 Pro, and today we are taking a look at a similar model. Is the card worth your $150?
Throughout all of our benchmarks regardless of what we are reviewing, testing is done in a clean and stand-alone version of Windows XP Professional with SP2. Prior to testing, these conditions are met:
- Desktop and scrap files are cleaned up, including emptying of recycle bin.
- No virus scanner or firewall is installed in the stand-alone installation.
- The stand-alone installation drive is completely defragged using Diskeeper 10 Pro Premier.
- All unnecessary programs are closed, so that Windows should have no more than 15 active processes running.
- Computer has proper airflow.
The testing rig used for today’s benchmarking is as follows:
- CPU: AMD Windsor 4600+ EE @ 2.4GHz
- Motherboard: DFI NF590 SLI-M2R/G (829 BIOS)
- Memory: Kingston PC2-8000 2GB @ DDR2-800 4-4-4-12
- Video: ASUS EAX1650XT, ASUS 7900GT
- Sound: Onboard HD Audio
- Storage: Seagate 7200.9 320GB
- Etcetera: Windows XP Professional w/ SP2
- Cooling: Corsair Nautilus 500
Seeing as this is a budget graphics card, we will not get into heavy testing but instead picked four of our favorite games to take a spin through. These include Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Call of Duty 2, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and also Need for Speed: Carbon. Included at the end are some 3D Mark results, for those who enjoy them.
Half-Life 2: Episode 1
Half-Life 2 is one of those classic games that just doesn’t get boring. Even after playing the same level over and over, I still haven’t found myself completely “bored” of it in the least. I can’t say that for every game. The level used here is ep1_c17_02a, which starts you off in a dark yellow hallway. You progress through the narrow hallways killing zombies and combine soldiers along the way, all while having an airship outside shooting you through the windows.
1280×1024 and 1650×1080 were the resolutions used here, with all of the graphic options turned up to max, except the AF which was kept at 8x. AA was kept at 4x.
Even with amazing graphics, this is one title that does not require an amazing card in order to enjoy the game to the fullest. Even at 1650×1080, the game averaged out to a very playable 44FPS. Our 7900GT mustered almost twice as many, but the game didn’t feel slow in any way with the X1650XT.