Graphics Cards Guide

XpertVision Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3 Sonic review

XpertVision Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3 Sonic

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AMD continues to bleed red ink, going by the latest financial numbers for the second quarter . Total revenues climbed by around 12%, but the company suffered a net loss of US$600 million and follows from an operating loss of US$504 million in the first quarter. The US$600 million figure also included a US$130 million acquisition related charged for graphics chipmaker ATI. While integration costs are expected from any acquisition or merger, how has AMD benefited from the ATI takeover so far?

From what we gleaned going through the financial results, the jury is still out though the report mentioned that graphics shipments have been stagnant compared to the first quarter. However, AMD seems to think that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, with the report claiming, "initial sales of the ATI Radeon HD 2000 family of graphics processors were strong in the channel". This is a rather vague statement that was not substantiated with any figures but of course, it is early days yet for AMD to compile a comprehensive report card for ATI's performance, especially the new Radeon HD series. After all, these new graphics cards have only been released for a couple of months and the bulk of the cards, the mainstream Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 series have only been available for less than a month.

We have looked at some of these mainstream Radeon HD cards in the past month and our general impression was how the performance on these cards meant that they could only compete obliquely against NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 series. The leading GeForce 8600 GTS is much too fast for ATI's equivalent Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB, even with a DDR4 equipped version. Nevertheless, with its adjusted and hence competitive entry price, the Radeon HD is not dead or buried and we have been seeing quite a few vendors offering these cards for sale. XpertVision is one of those vendors who offer graphics products from both ATI and NVIDIA, and with all the attention so far on the faster, GDDR4 version of the Radeon HD 2600 XT, the company has an interesting take on the GDDR3 card, clocking it higher than one may expect.

XpertVision's Sonic edition of the Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3 comes with the same core clock as the GDDR4 version and its default memory clock is at 1600MHz DDR, higher than some of its competitors, though obviously not as high as the GDDR4 version, which starts at 2200MHz DDR. Together with attractive pricing, can this XpertVision be a suitable alternative for the more expensive and bulky GDDR4 version?