Gigabyte Radeon HD 2600 XT (GV-RX26T256H)
- Silent, stable with only a passive cooler
- Performance; not for enthusiasts
Gigabyte has done a great job of making this card run silent. It's not a high-end gaming card, but it will suit those who wish to build a media centre and still hope to play some games.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
Gigabyte is infamous for adding a few of its own touches before releasing a product, and the Gigabyte Radeon HD2600 XT is no exception. As with many of Gigabyte's low-mid range cards, a silent, passive cooler has been installed, keeping the system quiet, while still maintaining a good thermal balance for stable operation.
The Radeon HD2600 XT is second only to the Radeon HD2900 XT, at least within ATI's own range, and isn't a high-end gaming card by any means. Certainly it can hold its own, especially in titles released last year and earlier, but don't expect to get playable frame rates in the latest gaming titles with the best quality settings. What the HD2600 XT does offer is a good mid-range experience with benefits for HD video decoding and HD (HDCP) video output via HDMI (an optional adapter is required).
Built onto the board is a dedicated chip called the universal video decoder (UVD), which is designed to handle the decoding of movies, especially high-definition movies such as Blu-ray or HD-DVD, rather than offload that task to the CPU. This is especially handy for low-end computers, which need to reserve the CPU for other tasks.
As is mentioned above, the Gigabyte HD2600 XT is made specifically to output via HDMI. Included in the sales package is a DVI to HDMI adapter. Radeon cards from the HD2000 series also support audio throughput via the DVI/HDMI output, so it's possible to connect your PC or media centre using this card to any standard HDMI capable TV or home theatre and get digital video and audio throughput.
In our benchmarks we saw expectedly average results across the DirectX 10 games and playable, but still not excellent, results from the DirectX 9-based games. In 3DMark 2006 at the default settings it scored 4879, while at 1920x1200 using 8x antialiasing (AA) and 16x anisotropic filtering (AF) it only scored 929. In FEAR it averaged only 18fps (frames per second) using the maximum quality settings at a resolution of 1600x1200 and in Half-Life 2 using the maximum quality settings at 1920x1200 it averaged 70fps.
In the Call of Juarez DirectX 10 demo it averaged just 8.9fps and in Lost Planet: Extreme Condition DirectX 10 version, with all DirectX 10 features turned on at a resolution of 1920x1200 it averaged just 5.7fps.
It's not surprising that the results aren't very high. This card only offers 256MB of GDDR3 memory with a 128-bit memory bus. It has a 120 stream processors as opposed to the 320 on the Radeon HD2900 XT, the core clock runs at 800MHz while its RAM runs at 1400MHz.
During the tests we checked the temperature of the large black heat sink that Gigabyte has placed on the card and it maxed out at around 47 degrees. At no point did the card falter due to heat and it remained blissfully quiet the whole time.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 5 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
Latest News Articles
- New high-speed graphics card from AMD
- Razer's Basilisk x Hyperspeed is 40% off through Amazon
- Logitech dials up great sound and a handy mouse
- New products round-up: Belkin, Bose and Logitech
- Intel launches 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPUs and premium laptop Evo brand
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- How the Xbox Series X (and xCloud) saved me from buying a gaming PC
- 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