We like choice, but we become annoyed when too much choice unnecessarily complicates what should be a simple issue. And that's what's going on here. Consider the clock speeds of the Radeon X1300 XT and the Radeon X1650 Pro, both scheduled to hit stores on September 14. The X1300 XT features a core clock speed of 500MHz and an 800MHz memory clock; the X1650 Pro goes 600MHz and 700MHz, respectively. They each provide the same number of vertex (12) and pixel (5) pipelines, and each comes with 128MB of DDR-3 video memory (although you can find each from ATI partners with 256MB). In other words, same card, different clock speeds.
Those clock speeds make a difference in our performance tests, but only barely. We advocate in general getting the best parts you can afford for the sake of longevity and performance, which is why we pick the Radeon X1650 Pro over the Radeon X1300 XT. While we're glad to see that both cards hover around 60 frames per second on Quake 4 and Half-Life 2: Lost Coast at reasonable image quality and screen resolution settings, the Radeon X1650 Pro is faster throughout.
|1,024x768 (high quality)||1,280x1,024 (high quality)|
|1,280x1,024 (high quality, trilinear filtering)||1,600x1,200 (high quality, trilinear filtering)|
|800x640 (medium textures, full sliders)||1,024x768 (medium textures, full sliders)|
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62; Asus A8RMVP-Deluxe motherboard; 1GB Corsair XMS 3200XL DDR SDRAM; 160GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive; ATI Catalyst beta version 6.8_8.282.1 graphics driver software; Nvidia ForceWare 91.31 graphics driver software.