The X1650XT is ATI's stab at the 7600GT, at least as it sits from a price point (~$150 US). While ATI has been playing catch up on the top of the line video cards, it has done very well with keeping an edge in the value line-up. Why, you might be asking, should I pay attention to these cards? Well, the simple fact is, the X1650XT and the 7600GT can both handle most of todays games at 16xx X 1xxx (depending on WS etc), with some games being very playable with all the effects enabled.
Viperlair has in our grubby little hands the take on the ATI's RV560, . Let's look over the specifications for this new graphics solution.
|ATI X1650XT (80nm RV560@ 575MHz)
|ATI Crossfire™ ready
|256MB High-Speed GDDR3 memory (@ 1.3GHz)
Twenty Four pixel shader processors
|Eight vertex shader processors
|Eight geometry pipelines
|Ultra-Threaded Shader Model 3.0 Engine
|128 bit memory path
|Integrated 165MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready)
Integrated TV Output support up to 1024x768 resolution
YPrPb component output for HDTV display connection
|Dual-link DVI , VGA and TV-Out
DirectX® 9 and OpenGL® supported
I would normally tell you for the complete specifications and updates on the , please check out the ; unfortunately, there is no information about this card on the at time of writing.
Interestingly, Asus has the 6 pin power connector on their version of the X1650XT whereas ATI does not. I am not sure why the Asus version of the RV560 GPU would be more power hungry, for some reason Asus thought so. Of course the obvious answer is that voltage stability should be improved, especially during overclocking. One other thing that kind of rubs me the wrong way with the X1650XT line is that you can't plug and play CrossFire with it, you have to purchase a X1650XT-CF card to allow this card to run in CrossFire mode, unlike its younger sibling, the X1600XT which can simply plug into two slots on a 975x motherboard, tick the CrossFire tab in CCC and your off.
Unpacking the box you find your graphics card, manual, cables and several CD's.
Also included is a nice case to store all of your newly acquired CD's (luckily it does hold more then 3) and a speedSetUP guide.
Looking over the card itself, the first thing you notice is Asus has shrunk their cooler by about 33% over previous iterations. The card does not appear busy, add to this it is a short card (when compared to X1950XT etc). The IO is fairly common of today's cards, with dual DVI and a connector for your HDTV out.
While the back side of the EAX1650XT is nothing spectacular, you can see that the cooler Asus deploys is not the snap in variety, this puppy is bolted down. You can also see the power connector that Asus has included, along with a warning about ensuring you plug it in (in many languages no less).
While physically installing the EAX1650XT was no problem, the software side of the solution turned out to be. My first build I downloaded the latest Catalyst drivers (6.11 at the time) and attempted to install them, I received a “No Supporting Graphics Card Found” pop up from ATI. I read the release notes and interestingly found the X1650 series missing from its support list (even though I had followed the website and selected the Radeon X1650 device). I did some research and found it was supported by 6.10, which is also the version that shipped with the card. I proceeded to install that version and got her working properly. UPDATE – I have just checked the latest release notes and 7.1, has support for the X1650 series.
This is where the fun begins. The X1650XT is a midrange market focus graphics solution. To sample against the EAX1650XT I chose the previously reviewed HIS X1600Pro IceQ Turbo, which tested fairly well here not long ago.
We will be performing all tests at 16:10 resolution of 1680x1050 and 1280x800 (if the 1680 tests are below playable levels). While not all games support WS resolutions, there is usually a hack or two that allows you to play it that way, all of the games I have chosen support WS.
Benchmark System: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13GHz), Asus P5W DH Deluxe, 2GB Super Talent PC2-6400, WD WD800JD / 80GB SATA 7200RPM, Asus EAX1650XT, Dell 2005FPW (1680x1050 and 1280x800), Windows XP SP2, ATI CCC build 31959 (Catalyst 6.10)
The Comparison System: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13GHz), Asus P5W DH Deluxe, 2GB Super Talent PC2-6400, WD WD800JD / 80GB SATA 7200RPM, HIS X1600Pro IceQ Turbo, Dell 2005FPW (1680x1050 and 1280x800), Windows XP SP2, ATI CCC build 31959 (Catalyst 6.11)
F.E.A.R: A very demanding shooter, you NEED hardware with some horsepower for this one
Call of Duty 2: Visually intense, bright and a lot of scenery
Quake 4: An upgrade to the D3 engine, very intensive
3dMark 2006: Our Synthetic benchmark...