Budget Battle: HyperMemory vs. TurboCacheby Derek Wilson on May 12, 2005 9:00 AM EST
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Final RoundWhat everything comes down to is the price. We are seeing the TurboCache parts coming in at between $59 and $80 for the range of cards that we tested here. While it isn't as widely available yet, the ATI HyperMemory parts are coming in at between $53 and $75. It is absolutely important to realize that we tested the cheapest of the X300 HyperMemory cards here, the 32MB onboard model. With this card coming in at under $60, there is no reason to choose the 16MB TC part over the ATI solution unless vendors can get the prices down near $50.
The 128MB onboard X300 HyperMemory part should perform significantly better than what we are seeing here, and we suspect that the price point puts it in good competition with the higher end TurboCache parts. But we will have to wait until we have hardware for testing before we can confirm this suspicion. Regardless, the small price difference for the extra 96MB of onboard RAM makes the more expensive ATI part a very interesting option.
We really can't see much reason to recommend the 64MB TurboCache part. Unless one of the vendors comes out with a solution that runs the memory at 700MHz or more, there's really no advantage to the 32MB onboard part (in fact, there is a disadvantage at the speeds that we tested). We really can't see any reason for the most expensive part that we tested to cost as much as it does.
For well-rounded performance, the 32MB 64-bit TurboCache part is our pick. Of course, that may change when we look at the 128MB HyperMemory card depending on performance and price at the time.
Business customers who want some added 3D functionality and possibly the ability to play games at the absolute lowest cost will not be disappointed with the 32MB onboard ATI X300 SE HyperMemory solution. If the budget is tight, this is definitely a workable part.
For those who will be buying in volume, even a single dollar counts in the grand scheme of things. With the low prices of these cards, we can expect a lot of competition between vendors in the high volume market. It will take quite a lot for NVIDIA and ATI to build up enough steam to surpass Intel in the graphics solution volume department, but perhaps upcoming integrated graphics solutions from ATI and NVIDIA will be as compelling as these parts show value products can be.