- Value for money
- Noisy fan
The Asus EAX1650XT is a good budget option for a Vista upgrade or simply to give new life to a gaming machine while cards supporting DirectX 10 trickle into the market.
Price$ 279.95 (AUD)
The Asus EAX1650XT is one of the best value budget graphics cards available on the market. It will run older games with ease and handle current games with modest quality settings without breaking the bank. This card is a great option if an upgrade to Windows Vista is on the agenda, as it meets the requirements to run Vista's Aero interface. It will also provide a good interim solution if you have plans to buy a bigger, more impressive graphics card later in the year when a greater variety of DirectX 10 supported cards become available. It performed well in our tests at a resolution of 1280x1024, but struggled with high quality image enhancements and at resolutions above 1680x1050.
With support for DirectX 9 the Asus EAX1650XT is capable of running all currently available games, including some of the most popular titles such as Half Life 2 and FEAR. The EAX1650XT graphics processor unit (GPU) allows this card to render complex shading effects and enhancements found in current games, such as anti-aliasing (AA) and high dynamic range lighting (HDR), but with a 128-bit memory bus and 256MB of GDDR3 graphics RAM it won't run games in extremely high quality modes or at resolutions such as 1680x1050 or higher without sacrificing the frame rate.
We found this card ran best at a resolution of 1280x1024 (or 1280x960), the native resolution of many 17in and 19in screens. It has 24 pixel pipelines and 8 vertex shaders, with a core speed of 574MHz. The 256MB of GDDR3 RAM runs at 1.35GHz (675MHz). This gives this card enough power to render scenes smoothly, as long as you don't expect to turn on all the bells and whistles. In Quake 4 we ran a number of tests, all on High Quality, but with different AA settings and at two different resolutions. At a resolution of 1280x1024 with no AA the Asus EAX1650XT managed to keep an average of 67.5fps (frames per second) throughout the test. Sixty fps is considered a comfortable average for smooth game play, so performance in this test was good. As soon as we turned AA to 4x the frame rate dropped to 42.2fps. While this is still a playable frame rate, the result shows that this the card will clearly struggle if you hope to soften the scene with AA, a feature that smooths the jagged, pixelated edges of rendered images. At 1600x1200, a resolution found on 22in screens or higher, the Asus EAX1650XT still managed a frame rate of 51.4fps while AA was turned off. Again, turning on 4xAA dropped the frames by about 20fps to a not-so-playable 31.9fps.
In our F.E.A.R. tests we weren't able to crack the 35fps mark at either 1280x960 or 1600x1200. While AA had no impact on the frame rate in these tests, we were only able to hit a maximum of 34fps in 1280x960 and a maximum of 24fps in 1600x1200. Our tests were run using maximum quality settings, so reducing some of the individual image quality features like texture quality or anisotropic filtering will improve performance.
While it doesn't support DirectX 10, the building blocks of the next generation of games, the Asus EAX1650XT is going to provide a descent gaming experience until a greater choice of DirectX 10 supported cards are available on the market. The board itself is quite small, but still encroaches into the space of the PCI slot immediately below it. The 50mm fan gives off a fair amount of noise, even when idle, but the card doesn't get overly hot, so you won't need to ramp up your case fans to account for it. It's also CrossFire ready, so two boards can be linked up on a CrossFire capable motherboard for twice the power.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- FTWeb Developer / Applications AnalystQLD
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FTLead PMONSW
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCAzure Architect/ConsultantVIC
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- CCTest ManagerWA
- FTPart Time - IT Service Desk AnalystVIC
- CCSQL Server BI DeveloperQLD
- TPWinforms DevelopersWA
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Transport DomainVIC
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT