The Asus Radeon EAH3650 may be an inexpensive graphics card, but that doesn't make it great value.

ATI might have finally launched a new high-end card, but that isn't stopping it from liberally stocking up at the lower end of the market. The Asus Radeon EAH3650 may have already cleaned up in the £105+ arena, but a pair of new cards (the upcoming 3450 and this, the 3650) look like claiming a stake or two in the sub-£100 market.

Both of these cards have been manufactured using the compact and efficient 55nm process. The 3650 is the more expensive of the two and, at first glance, the AAsus Radeon EAH3650 looks like quite a match for the likes of the 3850 Pro. The core clock speed of 725MHz actually surpasses the 3850's 670MHz, and the memory clock of 800MHz isn't too far behind the 3850's figure of 830MHz.

And like the 3850, the Asus Radeon EAH3650 also offers 256MB of GDDR3 RAM. The number of stream processors may have fallen but, at first glance, everything looks fairly impressive for the 3650.

However, the realworld figures reveal a different story, with the Asus Radeon EAH3650 often producing half the performance of the 3850 in our games tests. In fairness, this card does cost almost half the price, so you shouldn't expect 3850-performance. And as part of a CrossFire system, the 3650 could produce some really good performance.

As with the 3850 and 3870, the Asus Radeon EAH3650 offers DirectX 10.1 support. Of course, given the performance, even standard DirectX 10 may prove too much for the 3650. It's likely to be sometime before we really see any of the benefits of 10.1, but we can still assume the 3650 won't be up to the task.

Asus Radeon EAH3650: Specs

  • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3650
  • Installed RAM 256MB GDDR3
  • Core Clock 725MHz
  • Memory Clock 800MHz (1.6GHz DDR effective)
  • Manufacturing process 55nm
  • Stream Processors
  • Memory Interface 128bit
  • Interface PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.1 support yes
  • DVI yes
  • video in/out no/yes
  • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3650
  • Installed RAM 256MB GDDR3
  • Core Clock 725MHz
  • Memory Clock 800MHz (1.6GHz DDR effective)
  • Manufacturing process 55nm
  • Stream Processors
  • Memory Interface 128bit
  • Interface PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.1 support yes
  • DVI yes
  • video in/out no/yes

OUR VERDICT

The sub-£100 market is competitive, but the Asus Radeon EAH3650 is actually a pretty good deal given what's down there at the moment. Its performance lags behind that of the 3850 by a large margin, but it is certainly playable. And if you're looking for a well-priced card that can work as part of a CrossFire PC then you could get significant power for very little outlay.

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