Product Listing

GeCube Radeon X1650 PRO Platinum Preview

By Vincent Chang - 10 Sep 2006

Nothing Platinum About it

Nothing Platinum About it

The original reference Radeon X1600 XT seemed like a relic from a previous era due to its loud whiny cooler. It may have looked small and harmless but the fan did generate significant amounts of noise. The actual shipped cards from ATI's partners tend to improve things somewhat, since they have the leeway to introduce versions with silent, passive coolers or third party coolers that worked better than the original.

A different choice of cooler from the reference Radeon X1600 XT seems to be the most significant change in the Radeon X1650 PRO. Of course, many retail Radeon X1600 XTs in the market use their own custom coolers.

Someone has obviously been listening to this feedback because the GeCube Radeon X1650 PRO Platinum uses a relatively quiet cooler. Looking like a stripped down version of GeCube's Uni-Wise cooler (the heat pipes on that GeCube proprietary cooler has unfortunately been removed in this case), this copper based cooler with aluminum fins relies on its fan to do the job.

A closer look at this cooler which is much less noisy than previous ones for the Radeon X1600 XT. At least this is a tangible improvement.

GeCube has also overclocked the memory frequency for its Radeon X1650 PRO Platinum, which we presume is the main reason why this Radeon comes with a 'Platinum' tagged to its name. The core clock remains at the standard frequency of 600MHz while the DDR3 memory modules have been bumped to 1500MHz DDR from the 1400MHz default. With such a minor speed bump, we doubt that benchmarks scores would improve much but let's leave that to the results later.

Another major point to note is that unlike most Radeon X1600 XT cards that we have seen, the GeCube Radeon X1650 PRO Platinum does not come with a Rage Theater ASIC. While this is our first Radeon X1650 PRO retail card, we have noticed that the few other such cards on the market all have Rage Theater chips onboard. It seems rather strange that GeCube has chosen to omit this feature. Not many users would likely utilize it but it is always better to include it and stay on par with the competition.

A pair of dual-link DVI outputs is rather standard for modern graphics cards.

True to GeCube's usual practice of bundling only the basics, there are no extras in the package. We did find the standard CD containing the graphics drivers but there are no other applications or games. While half-expected, we were still disappointed since this is after all a 'Platinum' version. Here's what we found in our bundle:

  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to S-Video/Composite dongle
  • User Manual
  • Driver CD
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