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Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 review

Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4

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The Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4

The Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4

Once again, Sapphire provided us with its Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 for evaluation. This turned out to be a reference model that's probably indistinguishable from that of other brands except for the Sapphire decals. The card itself is longer than Radeon HD 2600 PRO, though like the other mainstream cards, it comes with a single slot cooler reminiscent of the ones found on the Radeon X1950 PRO.

The lower power draw of the 65nm core makes its point here, as the Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT does not require a Molex power connector, taking its juice directly through the PCIe interface. According to ATI, the power consumption of this card should be around 45W. The smaller and cooler core is also a factor for the ultra quiet cooling fan, which is something that we liked a lot. The memory chips are all passively cooled by the heatsink as this industrial looking piece of aluminum covered most of the red PCB.

The core runs at 800MHz, only 200MHz higher than the Radeon HD 2600 PRO but the memory does get a larger boost to 2200MHz DDR. Compare this against the maximum 1000MHz DDR on the PRO. Of course, with NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 GTS running with a 2000MHz DDR memory clock, ATI's numbers are not that much higher, especially with its GDDR4 memory. The number of stream processing units is the same for all the Radeon HD 2600 cards, topping out at 120 organized into groups of five each. CrossFire is supported, with interconnects at their usual places and Sapphire has included the bridge for that in its package. Other items that we found in our box include:

  • 1 x DVI-to-HDMI adaptor
  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adaptor
  • 1 x 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • 1 x CrossFire bridge
  • Driver CD
  • User manual