Today we have a card that's got a new name but is really the same compared to a previous ATI card. If you don't have much money to spend, this card might be the one for you. So let's take a look at Sapphire's Radeon X1300 XT Overclock Edition.
On the surface, the card features the same GPU as the X1600 line which is running at 575MHz. The onboard 256MB of memory is running at 1.38GHz DDR. Because this is an overclocked edition card, it does run slightly higher than a normal X1300 XT card. The card features 12 pixel shader operators and 5 vertex shader operators. As with other X1K cards, the Radeon X1300 XT Overclock Edition supports DirectX 9.0, Shader Model 3.0, and AVIVO.
Now normal X1300 XT cards run in line with an X1600 Pro but since this is an Overclock Edition, the Sapphire card does out do X1600 Pro spec by 75MHz in CPU. Atleast Sapphire's pushing out a card that's silghtly faster rather than going with what the X1600 Pro was originally. Like I said before, I'm not really a big fan of companies renaming their products and selling them under the new name with same specifications of an older model as this just confuses customers even more but Sapphire has done some things to differentiate the card from even the X1600 Pro.
On the bracket are one DVI connector, one VGA connector, and a video out connector. If you need two DVI connections, the package does come with a convertor so you won't be left out in the cold. Most low end cards don't have two DVI connectors and the Radeon X1300 XT Overclock Edition is another example of this.
The bundle is pretty light for this setup as it doesn't include Sapphire's nice Sapphire Select DVD where you can choose a few games to keep. Instead, you get one copy of The Da Vinci Code, which isn't a very highly rated game in itself. Other than that you get a Cyberlink DVD software and the Sapphire driver disk. One VGA to DVI convertor does come with the board along with a pigtail featuring component outs as well as a composite video convertor for connecting to older TVs. It's a pretty sparse bundle and I am a little disappointed they didn't include the Sapphire Select DVD in here.
At $99, this card is aimed at the low end of the gamer's market. There's another market that I think this card could fit into and that's the HTPC builders looking for an inexpensive card to output video. Yes, the card doesn't have HDCP but at $99, it should hold you over until you do need a card that does. When running, the card is pretty quiet already so it shouldn't add much noise if you're looking for a silent machine. Since it's in the 1K family, you do get the nice AVIVO video convertor option if you would like to transfer your media to other devices such as a PSP or a PDA as well as transcoding the items to other formats such as MPEG and WMV.
Since the latest Catalyst 6.8 drivers don't support this card, we use the included driver disk to run the tests. I usually like to use the ATI's drivers when doing tests but as of this writing, I wasn't able to. Since this isn't a powerhouse card, we just ran the benchmarks at the various resolutions without trying to turn on antialiasing or anisotropic filtering. This card isn't really made to handle those features and still provide a playable framerate on modern games but you'll be able to use it on some older games if you so desire. We're going to compare this to Sapphire's X1650 Pro, which is $30 more than this card.
Our test setup included:
- AMD64 X2 3800+
- ECS KA3 MVP Extreme
- 2 GIG Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 (2 sticks 1GIG each)
- Seagate 160GIG 7200RPM HDD
- Windows XP w/ Service Pack 2
- Catalyst drivers from the package
First up is Futuremark's 3D Mark 06
is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today. We tested at the standard 1280x1024 resolution.
is Raven Software's true sequel to the id classic. The game uses an improved Doom 3
engine for some great graphics. For the test we ran a demo featuring a few enemies and some squad mates. We set the graphics qualities at maximum and ran it on three different resolutions.
One of the surprise hits out of Monolith was F.E.A.R.
This supernatural FPS looks incredible and really pushes a video card to its limits. For the benchmark, we ran three resolutions using the in game benchmark with all the settings set at max.
Valve's game uses their own Source engine to produce some impressive results especially giving us such features as HDR and some great physics. The Lost Coast demo was used in the benchmark with all settings set at maximum. Three resolutions were selected for this test as well.
has been in development for many years but the folks at Human Head finally released the game this year. The game utilizes the Doom 3
engine like Quake 4
and features the really cool Portal technology to garner some interesting game play aspects. All settings were set to maximum and three resolutions were chosen for the test.
The Sapphire Radeon X1300 XT Overclock Edition manages to handle itself pretty well against a card that's priced about $30 more. For those on a budget, this card gives you performance that's comparable to a higher priced card and offers up the very nice AVIVO capabilities. HTPC owners wanting to use ATI's easy conversion utility are able to do so as well. It's quiet and light on the pocketbooks. Sapphire's little overclock does help differentiate the card from the crowd. You'll have to turn down some settings to get some playable framerates out of this card, but for $99 this card is a good buy in that price range.
For a budget card, you'll get some good performance and AVIVO support. I think this would do well in an HTPC as well since it's quiet and lets you use AVIVO for come video encoding.