The MSI Radeon X1600 Pro reviewed!

Discussion in 'Graphic cards' started by drvarunmehta, May 16, 2006.

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  1. drvarunmehta

    drvarunmehta New Member

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    MSI Radeon X1600 Pro

    Specifications

    GPU Clock 500 MHz
    Pixel Pipelines 12
    Vertex Shaders 5 (v3.0)
    Pixel Shaders 1 (v3.0)

    Memory Bus Properties
    Memory Size 256 MB
    Bus Type DDR2
    Bus Width 128-bit
    Real Clock 392 MHz
    Effective Clock 784 MHz
    Bandwidth 12.3 GB/s

    Just for reference, a 6600GT has the same GPU clock speed (500 MHz), 8 pixel pipelines (4 less) and 1000 MHz memory clock speed (about 200 MHz more).

    Features

    Supports DirectX 9.0c (Shader model 3)
    Supports OpenGL 2.0
    AVIVO
    WMV and H.264 hardware acceleration
    Crossfire ready
    TV out
    DVI and analog connectors

    Box contents

    MSI Radeon X1600 Pro
    Driver CD
    Quick installation guide
    Manual
    Component video cable
    DVI to VGA convertor
    Colin McRae Rally 2005 (full DVD version)

    Installation

    The card was safely placed in an antistatic bag. Installation was quite easy. I placed the card firmly in the PCI express slot and locked it in place using the retention mechanism. The card dosen't require any additional power than that supplied by the PCI express slot.
    It was immediately detected on booting up and I installed the supplied drivers.

    Performance

    I don't have many new games that would stress the card so I had to make do with demo versions from the Digit CD.

    NFS Most Wanted

    1024x768x32
    All settings to max
    4x AA
    4x AF

    27 fps

    Really fast load times and no slowdown even with several cars on the screen at once.

    Far Cry

    1024x768x32
    All settings to high
    4x AA
    4x AF

    44 fps

    The environment effects looked awesome in this. Frame rate was still good after enabling AA/AF.

    Call of Duty 2 Demo

    1024x768x32
    All settings to max
    4x AA

    27 fps

    Load time was very quick and the game runs smoothly at max settings. The smoke and particle effects look amazing.

    Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood Demo

    1024x768x32
    All settings to max
    4x AF
    HDR enabled

    No AA: 26 fps
    With 4x AA: 16 fps


    The game dosen't run that smoothly with all the eye candy turned on, but disabling either AA or AF increases the fps to a playable 25. The game looks beautiful with HDR enabled. Not much performance loss on enabling it either.

    Serious Sam 2 Demo

    1024x768x32
    All settings at medium
    no AA/AF
    HDR and Bloom enabled

    42 fps

    The game crashed everytime I enabled AA, but it worked great with HDR and Bloom. Could be a problem with the demo itself since there's no reason for this game to stress the card so much when newer games run so smoothly.

    Age of Empires III Demo

    1024x768x32
    All settings to high
    No AA
    HDR enabled

    20 fps

    More than enough for a RTS. Enabling AA made it a little jerky without any visible improvement to the image quality.

    FEAR Demo


    1024x768x32
    All settings at medium
    2x AA

    39 fps

    FEAR looks like a slideshow at the highest settings with 4x AA and AF. Decreasing all settings to medium makes the game run really smooth (and it looks good too). If you have to run this game at max visual detail, then the X1600 Pro isn't enough.

    Quake 4 Demo

    1024x768x32
    All settings to max
    4x AA

    Outdoors: 21 fps
    Indoors: 41 fps


    Don't know why but the frame rate came crashing down in outdoor environments. The game was still smooth to play though. Good to see the card perform well in OpenGL too.

    Verdict

    It was a big leap in performance for me from using onboard graphics to this card. Finally ATI implemented Shader model 3 in their cards so we can enable some of the eye candy found in newer games (HDR, Bloom etc.)
    It performs better in most games than a 6600GT and costs about the same. I got it from abroad for about Rs. 6000/- so it was really worth it for me. I'm not aware of what the price is in India but it should be about the same as a 6600GT. It's not lacking in terms of features either with TV out, DVI, AVIVO and hardware accleration of H.264 content. But if you have a 6600GT or better, then stick to your existing card as buying this won't get you any additional performance.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2006
  2. john_the_ultimate

    john_the_ultimate No pain....No gain

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    Good review, keep it up buddy.
     
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