So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Gigabyte Radeon X1600 XT VPU (GV-RX16T256V-RH)
- Runs quietly
- Performance a little lacking for modern games
This Gigabyte card runs quietly, and has adequate power for the current crop of games. It does struggle at higher resolutions with high detail settings enabled.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Quiet operation is the hallmark of Gigabyte's mid-range graphics card, which keeps cool by using three large heat sinks connected by heat pipes. This setup is designed to absorb the heat produced by the ATI Radeon X1600XT graphics chip during heavy processing workloads, ensuring stable performance.
Our test PC included a Pentium 4 3.6GHz CPU with 1GB DDR2 533MHz RAM, and it didn't experience any crashes when tested running the games Quake 4, Doom 3 and FEAR - although the heat sinks did get very hot during full test loads.
The X1600XT chip runs at a clock speed of 387MHz, the 256MB of GDDR3 memory runs at 1386MHz, and it can process up to 12 pixels per clock cycle. It supports all of the latest advancements in graphics technology, including Pixel Shader Model 3.0, and it can render high dynamic-range (HDR) scenes (ones which have a wider range of colour for more realistic lighting and shadow effects) while anti-aliasing (AA) is simultaneously enabled for smoother lines. We ran the HDR test in 3DMark 2006 with 4x AA enabled and although the card chugged along, the picture quality was stunning.
The frame rates we achieved with this card were not overly impressive and were similar to the scores of an NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT-based card: the Gigabyte scored 31 frames per second (fps) in image detail tests using Quake at a resolution of 1280x1024 without AA enabled. It returned a score of 18fps in FEAR with maximum detail settings at a resolution of 1280x960 and without AA enabled. Its Doom 3 scores were impressive: it scored 53fps in image detail tests at a resolution of 1280x1024 without AA enabled.
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