Graphics Cards Guide

Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 review

Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4

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Test Setup

Test Setup

As usual, our test system was powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (E6700 @2.66GHz) on an Intel D975XBX 'Bad Axe' motherboard. It had 2GB of low latency DDR2-800 HyperX memory running in dual channel mode courtesy of Kingston. The operating system used on the Seagate 7200.7 SATA hard drive was Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 and installed with DirectX 9.0c.

Since the Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 is the top mainstream representative from ATI, we figured that NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 GTS is a valid comparison. We also threw in the GeForce 8600 GT, since going by its retail price, it should be facing off the similarly priced US$149 Radeon HD 2600 XT. Sapphire's own overclocked Radeon HD 2600 PRO was also included since this card could be an alternative for those looking for a slightly cheaper Radeon HD 2600 card. Others like the GeForce 7600 GT and the Radeon X1650 XT were added as reference points to what the previous generation's mid-range performance were like.

Both GeForce 8600 cards were running ForceWare 158.16 while the GeForce 7600 GT was on 93.71. The Radeon HD cards were on 8.38 drivers found in Catalyst 7.6 and the older Radeon X1650 XT was on Catalyst 7.2. Benchmarks tested are as follows:

  • Futuremark 3DMark05 (ver. 120)
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 (ver. 102)
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (ver 1.3)
  • FarCry (1.4 Beta)
  • F.E.A.R
  • Company of Heroes (ver 1.3)
  • Quake 4 (ver 1.2)