2006 has been one of the best years for PC gaming enthusiasts, or worst if you’ve tried to keep up with all of it. It’s hard to argue with the great advance the graphics card market has taken this year with ATI and NVIDIA launching new products in what seems like a monthly ritual. Currently even the most value priced cards can provide a great gaming experience, and the card ATI is launching today is no exception.
The card we’re looking at today is none other than the ATI Radeon X1650XT. At an MSRP of $150 it’s set to take down the 7600GT as the value leader, just as it’s bigger brother the X1950 Pro was unleashed to do just two weeks ago against the 7900 GS.
The basic core of the X1650XT is the same as the X1950 Pro, but has one quad disabled and one texture unit disabled compared to it’s 80nm partner. The GPU core also runs at the same speed of 575MHz as the X1950 Pro.
The memory is clocked at 1.3GHz and our samples both used Infineon bits. A key difference is that the X1650XT is using a 128-bit memory path while the X1950 Pro uses 256-bit just like the rest of the high-end ATI products.
While it might seem unassuming, this little beast is as powerful as the X1800 GTO, while generating less heat, less noise, and using less power.
As you can see in the picture above the X1650XT doesn’t require the external PCI-E power cable so that should give you a little insight to the thermal efficiency of the card.
ATI is using a very familiar heatsink on their X1650XT, they’ve used this same copper unit on their value line since the X1300’s launched over a year ago. While it’s very quiet in normal operation it can be a little loud during system startup. ATI also packs 2 Dual Link DVI connectors on the X1650XT.