I have shown you a few DirectX 10 video cards in the past few months. These cards have all been nVidiaís cards. ATI has some DirectX 10 video cards too. And though they came out later than nVidiaís cards, they are still out here and are plentiful. Today we are going to take a look at the ATI HD 2600 Pro. This should prove interesting compared to what nVidia has to offer. With no further ado, letís begin.
This card is manufactured by HIS, Hightech Information System Limited. The name isnít as important as the card. HIS cards typically are some of the best designed cards and the highest clocked. They frequently have bigger, better coolers on them to help cool the additional heat that might be produced from higher clocks.
These additional perks donít come without any consequences, though. HIS cards usually run a few dollars more than other brands. The model we have today isnít one with a high end cooler. It is more of an entry level card, which hasnít been a big market in the past for HIS. It should prove interesting to see how cool the card gets with a more entry level cooler.
HD 2600 GPU
ATI introduced three different GPUs featuring DirectX 10: the HD 2400, HD 2600, and HD 2900. This review will look at the middle one, the HD 2600. The HD 2600 is divided into two different cards, the HD 2600 Pro and the HD 2600 XT. The XT is the higher end card and is typically clocked higher in the RAM and core. If you take a look at the market for the HD 2600, you see a variety of different types of cards. The RAM size ranges from 256 MB to 512 MB, which isnít abnormal for mid-range cards, but the type varies from the aging GDDR2 to the super fast GDDR4. If that isnít enough, the memory interface ranges from a horrible 64-bit to 256-bit.
Itís tricky picking out cards if you donít know what to do with all of this information. Sure you can get 512 MB of GDDR4, get stuck on a 64-bit memory interface and be screwed because you canít get the bandwidth anywhere near as high as it is capable of going. I wouldnít get less than a 128-bit memory interface.
Now that I hopefully helped you pick out what type of memory and memory bus you want to get, it's time to look at the cores. Good news here: itís the same on the HD 2600 Pro and the XT. Yeah, I know this seems a lot easier. But then why are they charging you more for the XT model when it has the same core? The XT version is clocked higher, which I will talk about later. And usually the Pro model canít even get to the XT speeds, because the card limits the voltage to the core.
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