The endless speculation generated by news of ATI's reworked graphics chipsets has quickly settled once the benchmark results started coming in from the usual sources (Here's our version. ) Everyone seems to be singing the same tune generally: ATI's graphics leader now belongs to the new Radeon X1950 XTX but neither its performance nor its architecture is a radical advancement over the former Radeon X1900 XTX. Instead, its distinction lies with a quieter fansink and a technological first in the use of DDR4 memory modules. To many pundits, it is the other 'new' high-end card, the reduced 256MB version of the Radeon X1900 XT that grabs the spotlight due to its attractive price performance ratio. A possible sleeper hit perhaps?
In any case, the higher end graphics card duly stole the limelight as usual. The other cards introduced in the same launch, the Radeon X1650 PRO and the Radeon X1300 XT were quickly forgotten by most. With retail versions of the mid-range Radeon X1650 PRO expected to debut in stores later this month (14th September), we felt that it was the turn of the Radeon X1650 PRO to get some love.
For those who have neglected to check out the specifications of the Radeon X1650 PRO, we can summarize it in one sentence: the Radeon X1650 PRO is a Radeon X1600 XT in disguise. Underneath the coolers and heatsinks, the Radeon X1650 PRO shares the same 90nm R530 core as the Radeon X1600 XT. The architecture is also similar and the pixel and vertex shaders remain the same at 12 and 5 respectively. Only the clock speeds have been given a minor bump upwards; the core clock has gone up from 590MHz to 600MHz while the memory clock has increased from 1380MHz to 1400MHz DDR.
We failed to get our hands on a standard Radeon X1650 PRO graphics card but we went one better by getting the GeCube Radeon X1650 PRO Platinum. GeCube has upped the memory clock of its Radeon X1650 PRO here by 100MHz DDR and hopefully, that would make more of a difference than the cursory speed boosts made by ATI. Here's a look at this 'Platinum' card: