Although an inexpensive graphics card, the the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT struggles to hit decent games framerates.
In the world of PC technology you tend to get what you pay for. This principle certainly applies to graphics cards – the more you shell out, the better the performance will be.
That’s something to consider as you weigh up the £62 Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT and the £112 Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3850 Pro.
The latter is almost twice the price of the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT, but you can expect significantly better performance. And if you’re upgrading your graphics setup, surely it makes sense to spend a bit more?
Like nVidia’s GeForce 8600 range, the ATI 2400 and Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT cards are something of a disappointment. Billed as mainstream DirectX 10.0 products, these budget cards simply aren’t able to get decent results out of Microsoft’s high-calibre graphics interface, even though their specifications might suggest otherwise.
After all, the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT’s GDDR4 memory is stunning – even the 3850 Pro comes with only GDDR3. And the core and memory clock speeds are spectacular. Only in the number of stream processors (120 to the 3850’s 320) does the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT look inferior on paper.
And yet, one look at the gaming figures shows that the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT struggles to hit even half the framerates offered by the 3850. Granted, this card has some nice video features, but if you’re not interested in games you’d be well advised to save almost £40 and plump for the EAH2400Pro.