Budget Performance

For budget performance, we feel that 1024x768 is the proper target resolution. People spending near the $100 mark can't expect to acheive performance at high resolutions. But with current hardware, we can play games at moderate resolutions without loosing any features.

The X1300 is targeted at the budget market, but we focued on testing our X1300 Pro against slightly higher performing parts because of it's pricing. The X1300 does quite well versus the traditional low end 6200 TC and X300 parts, but can't really compete with the 6600 GT which is priced near the $149 MSRP of the X1300 Pro.

Under Doom 3 (and many OpenGL applications) NVIDIA holds a lead over ATI hardware. While it is understandable that the X1300 Pro isn't able to match preformance with NVIDIA's $150 6600 GT, the $250 MSRP X1600 XT laggs far behind as well. It is quite interesting to note that the X1600 closes that gap (and performs slightly better than the 6600 GT) when 4xAA and 8xAF are enabled at this resolution. But at such low res, the better bet is to increase the setting to 1280x1024 with no AA where the 6600 GT maintains about a 20% performance lead. Doom 3 is also a fairly low contrast game, meaning that jagged edges are already hard to see.

Budget Card Comparison  -  Doom 3

Budget Card Comparison  -  Chronicles of Riddick

Under Valve's Day of Defeat: Source, the latest resurrection of a past title by Valve (and also the first to feature HDR), The 6600 GT and X800 perform on par with what we would expect while the more expensive X1600 XT lags behind and the X1300 looks to perform where a budget card should. Enabling 4xAA and 8xAF on this game closes the gap between the 6600 GT and X1600 XT: they both run at about 48 fps under this setting, followed by the X800 at nearly a 43 fps average.

Budget Card Comparison  -  Day of Defeat

Far Cry provides a victory for the X1600 XT over the 6600 GT, but we still have the expensive X1300 Pro lagging it's closer cost competitor by a large margin.

Budget Card Comparison  -  Far Cry

Everquest II on very high quality mode shows the X1600 XT to lead this segment in performance. Current ~$100 parts are shown to perform horribly at this setting scoring single digit framerates. The X1300 Pro is definitely playable at very high quality at 1024x768 (which we would recommend over a lower quality setting at a higher resolution). Extreme quality still doesn't perform very well on any but the most expensive cards out there and really doesn't offer that much more interms of visual quality.

Budget Card Comparison  -  Everquest II

When testing Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, the new X1000 series of cards give a very good performance. This time around, the X800 and 6600 GT don't perform equally, and it looks as though the additions to the RV5xx architecture can make quite a difference depending on the game being played.

Budget Card Comparison  -  Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

To see the continuing saga of the X1600 XT, we will take a look at midrange performace numbers at 1280x960.

Test Setup and Power Performance Mid-Range Performance


View All Comments

  • Wellsoul2 - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    I really prefer ATI so this is a disappointment.

    The 1300 and 1600 are pretty weak.

    Might as well keep my 9600XT versus the 1300 - Can still play HL2 with noAA/AF.

    The only good thing is maybe the price will drop on the x800/850 line.

    The X1800 seems like a good card but why pay that money.

    Why bother with the shared memory cards? It's dumb.
  • Cookie Crusher - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    grammar is actually spelled with an "a" ;) Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    Yes, I have a feeling it'll be one of those cases where they make some editions and fixes to the article. Not that horrible, come on - I do agree the graphs are confusing. More important than graphs of benches, though, for me is the examination of the new AA, the architecture, features etc. Which they did a fair job of

    One remark: the bulleted lists are missing the bullets ... e.g. on page 2 the list of new features.
  • bldckstark - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    Yes, this is the worst article I have ever seen posted on Anandtech. Will Anandtech continue to be my first stop on my daily hardware fix? Yes. Will I ever make Toms Hardware my first stop again? No. JEEEEZ toms sucks now. If you want to complain about a site as a whole take a look at them. They actually posted articles about how to pick up chicks while gaming! Multiple articles! Good Lord. Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    Agreed! They did do a nice analysis of the new architecture.
    Agreed! Where are the bullets? (page 2 feature list, page 7 games list).
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    Everyone's always surpised by this. Why? They've done this countless times now as if it's acceptable. Seriously, don't post an article until it's done and have it proofread carefully before posting it. I honestly doubt your (Anandtech) editors are doing more than just skimming articles sometimes with the number of typos and gramatical errors I come across.

    I hope the quality goes back up, because it will eventually hurt your reputation.
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    I'll add, Anandtech is almost always my first stop to read a breaking review. Unfortunately, truths such as that below could someday change that. Today, Tech Report had the better article.


    We will have tables of all the data with all the numbers we ran across all the resolutions with 4xAA and 8xAF up shortly.

    Quite a bit of data was collected and it has taken some time to organize. You are absolutely right to want more, and we are working on getting it out the door as soon as possible.

    Derek Wilson

    Not their worst article, but things should be improving - not getting worse.
  • AnandThenMan - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    I agree. VERY WEAK REVIEW! Terrible. Honestly, what happened? Anandtech is usually much, much more with it. Disappointed.

    As for the R520, I think I'm like most people and just feel, meh.
  • misterspoot - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    Since the X1800 SKUs will not have the AGP bridge available (PCI-E) only, that leaves the X1600XT to attempt to give us AGP users a performance boost.

    Sadly, the X1600XT performs barely on par with a GeForce 6600GT -- which can be had for $150. Then, looking at the performance of the X1600XT, and comparing it to the X850 XT-PE -- surprise surprise, the year-plus old X850 XT is considerably superior.

    So if you're like me and built your box nearly 2 years ago, and have no choice but to buy an AGP part, it looks like the X850 XT-PE is going to be the highest performance part you can buy. Looks like I'll be grabbing one this weekend, so my performance in raids on Molten Core is drastically improved (runs a 6600GT at 1600x900 with minimum detail settings -- suffers from mid 20fps all the time while trying to tank).
  • DRavisher - Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - link

    The review states: "With its 512MB of onboard RAM, the X1800 XT scales especially well at high resolutions,". From what I see it scales very poorly at high resolutions compared to the 7800GTX 256MB card. Just look at what happens in SC:CT and FarCry. The XT goes from having a substantial lead in 1600x1200 to being about equal with the 7800GTX at 2048x1536. Reply

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