by Rob Williams on March 13, 2006 in Graphics & Displays
Are you building a new PC or HTPC and are looking for a great budget card? PowerColor may have exactly what you need, with their X1600XT 256MB. It offers great gaming performance for a budget card, and includes the AVIVO technology to make your video experience even better.
As a whole, I was very impressed with the performance of this card. When comparing it to the 6800GT, it certainly held it’s own and never came very far behind. So the question really is, if you are a budget gamer, is the card worth your $170? At this price point, the next ATI step up would be the X1800XL, which can cost around $325US. This is a huge jump. On the NVIDIA side of things, this card competes nicely with the 6800GS. I wish I had a 6800GS on hand, as it would have been a more fair competition. The 6800GS is equipped with 12 Pixel Pipelines as the X1600XT is, but it’s memory bus is better at 256Bit.
Both the X1600XT and 6800GS are priced similarly, so depending on what side you wish to take, you cannot go wrong with either. The 256-Bit memory bus on the GS may improve some games at higher details though. I can’t speak from experience with the GS, so it’s hard to have a real opinion.
The X1600XT offers superb performance for the price though, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an ATI card in their machine. In the future if you wish to upgrade and have a Crossfire board, you could purchase an X1600 Crossfire card to help you out. As a standalone card though, it impressed me throughout all of the tests. Even at 1280 resolutions, it handled all of the games very well, although some parts of certain games became evidently laggy.
The bundle with the card is primarily a game I never heard of, nor tried out. If you are a fan of the flight sim genre though, you will appreciate this addition. The fact that this card includes all of the extra video cables you need for AVIVO adds to the value.
Simply put: If you are a gamer on a budget, then you cannot go wrong with this card. It offers amazing performance for the price, and overclocks quite well. Coupled with the great AVIVO capabilities, this card would be perfect even if you are building an HTPC but don’t need all of the functionality that the All-In-Wonders offer. I award the PowerColor X1600XT a 9 out of 10, along with our Editors Choice award!
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